SAN FRANCISCO — While Southern California’s famed sunshine was finally returning on Wednesday, northern California counterparts weren’t so lucky as the rain continued to hit large swaths of wetland.
“Atmospheric river has returned to northern and central California,” the National Weather Service said. “Heavy rain on saturated soils and gusty winds can lead to flooding and damaged or downed trees and power outages.”
The service warned of dangerous weather conditions for the San Francisco Bay Area and the Monterey Peninsula to the south. There was a wind warning in effect through Wednesday night and a high surf warning going into effect on Thursday.
An atmospheric river occurs when a line of warm, moist air flows from near the islands across the Pacific Ocean to the West Coast, which falls as heavy rain when it hits the coldest air over land. These “rivers in the sky” can be over a thousand miles long and carry more water than the Mississippi River.
It all adds up to more misery for a region that has endured a relentless series of atmospheric rivers since the last week of 2022. The 12.37 inches of rain that San Francisco received from Dec. 26 through Monday is more than half of the annual total. typical and the third largest amount in the city in 15 days, meteorologist Jan Null tweeted.
WHAT IS AN ATMOSPHERIC RIVER?These rivers of water vapor can stretch for thousands of kilometers.
At least 17 people died in the fierce storm surge. Damage could exceed $1 billion, experts say. And yes, more of the same is coming.
“We are not out of the woods,” warned Gov. Gavin Newsom.
MORE STORM COMING:4 more storms approaching California in next 10 days, Newsom warns
NEW NORMAL?:Are California Storms Normal, or Is Climate Change Making It Worse? What the experts say.
►Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, both northwest of Los Angeles, totaled 13 locations that recorded two-day rainfall totals of at least 13.2 inches as of 3 p.m. Los Angeles National Weather Service.
►Snow will remain in the forecast for the mountains of northern California and parts of the Sierra, the weather service said. Some areas have already received more than 3 meters of snow in the last two weeks.
►The previous storm that hit California was heading east, and heavy storms were possible in the southeast on Thursday, forecasters said. Rain and some thunderstorms could expand to the east coast Thursday night; Heavy snow is possible over northern New England early on Friday.
DISASTER COSTS:$18 billion disasters killed nearly 500 people last year, says NOAA
Authorities have urged California residents to remain vigilant as more rain and storms are forecast. The National Weather Service’s Bay Area office tweeted that rain would continue into Wednesday night and further flooding was possible in the North Bay.
“The weather will remain active next week, with a chance of more thunderstorms on Friday through the weekend,” the weather service said. The Bay Area Office said. Rain is also forecast to return to the Los Angeles area on Saturday.
Four more atmospheric rivers are heading into the state in the next nine to 10 days, Governor Gavin Newsom warned, ahead of an expected dry stretch starting Jan. 20. Newsom said more than half of the state’s 58 counties have been declared disaster areas.
The first of these storms is expected to start in the northwest, according to AccuWeather meteorologists. Parts of Oregon, Washington and Northern California will see some of the heaviest rain and snow later this week.
The second, according to AccuWeather, could have impacts across California over the weekend, and will bring risks of flooding and gusts of wind.
“Megasdroughts. Wildfires. Historic flooding and atmospheric rivers. This catastrophic weather is not an anomaly,” tweeted Newsom. “California is proof that the climate crisis is real and we have to take it seriously.”
Amidst all of the gloomy weather across much of California, there was some good news on Wednesday: Power outages dropped dramatically statewide. About 62,000 homes and businesses were left in the dark. About four times as many were without power on Tuesday.
And Santa Barbara County canceled all evacuation and shelter-in-place orders. That includes Montecito, home to Prince Harry, Oprah Winfrey and other celebrities, where 23 people died and more than 100 homes were destroyed in a landslide five years ago.
Also, meteorologists finally see the day when the state starts to dry out, late next week.
“A sustained pause is coming, but we still have a solid 7 to 10 days to go,” said a climate scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles. daniel swain tweeted.
Authorities continue search for 5-year-old child swept away by floodwaters
The California National Guard said soldiers joined the search for 5-year-old Kyle Doan in San Luis Obispo County. The toddler disappeared on Monday after he and his mother were trapped in a truck in rising waters. His mother was rescued, but Kyle was taken away.
Kyle’s mom was driving him to kindergarten when the floodwaters hit their SUV. She tried to pull them both out of the vehicle, but missed Kyle, who was swept away by the water. Nearby residents managed to rescue his mother.
A seven-hour search on Monday turned up just one of Kyle’s sneakers. Authorities have been searching using time breaks ever since, and the search continued on Wednesday after ending on Tuesday night due to poor visibility.
“The hard thing to say for a lot of people right now is this is not a rescue. It’s a recovery,” the boy’s father, Brian Doan, told CNN on Wednesday, adding that authorities have not officially determined the search is a recovery. “And that’s something no parent wants to admit. And I kind of knew after the first night… And it’s a difficult, difficult concept, especially when it’s your child.”
More troops will arrive on Thursday, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office said.
Thousands of Californians remain displaced
Thousands of people across the state who live near rain-filled creeks and rivers remained under evacuation orders. In the San Joaquin Valley, Bear Creek flooded parts of the city of Merced and neighboring Planada along a highway into Yosemite National Park. All 4,000 residents of Planada were ordered to leave Tuesday. Neighborhoods were left underwater with cars submerged to the roof, and some residents took everything they could salvage.
Other evacuations were ordered due to a levee breach in parts of Monterey County. Repairs were in progress.
“We understand that people are anxious to get home, but we appreciate your patience as we keep these areas free for developers,” said Monterey County Sheriff Tina Nieto.
EPIC STORM GRAPH VIEW:Graphs show how the coastal state got soaked
Is the drought over? Not yet
The six atmospheric rivers that have flooded California in recent weeks, along with three or four more to come, will ease worries about a drought that has entered its fourth year. But the parade of storms alone won’t end the state’s extended period of below-average rainfall.
On the one hand, California’s water supplies reached extremely low levels during the drought and are only now beginning to recover. The largest of these cisterns, Lake Shasta, was at 55% of its historical average at Christmas, before rising to 70% on Tuesday, still considerably below the typical holiday level.
Furthermore, an impressive first part of the rainy season hardly guarantees continued precipitation. State residents got that reminder last year, when massive October and December storms seemed to signal the drought was over, only for California to experience the driest January-March period in recorded history.
When the Sierra’s snowpack — which serves as a natural water store until spring melt — was measured at its traditional peak in early April, it recorded just 38% of the historical average.
“We are not out of the drought yet,” said Laura Feinstein, who leads work on climate resilience and the environment at SPUR, a public nonprofit.
The capital of California is known for the many trees that fill its parks and streets. But persistent storms in Sacramento, which battered the so-called “City of Trees” and other parts of the state, damaged homes, vehicles and power lines, toppling uprooted trees.
More than 1,000 trees have fallen in Sacramento since the New Year’s Eve storm, said Gabby Miller, a spokeswoman for the city’s Department of Public Works. The city’s trees help to lower temperatures during the hot and sweltering summers, but they also help to control flooding.
Two trees outside the home of Niki Goffard and her boyfriend fell on Sunday morning, one on the roof. Part of the roof above her bedroom caved in and landed on top of Goffard’s boyfriend, causing some scratches and bruises.
“You never think something like this is going to happen to you,” Goffard said. “It’s been quite shocking and traumatizing.”
Contribution: Associated Press
#dead #billion #damage