April 19, 2024

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A dangerous storm threatens California

A dangerous storm threatens California

A “brutal” storm, capable of producing torrential rain and dangerous flooding, could hit California by midweek, meteorologists warned Tuesday.

The powerful low-pressure system is expected to sweep the U.S. Pacific coast Wednesday and Thursday, and officials are urging residents to prepare.

“This is truly a brutal system that needs to be taken seriously,” the US Weather Service (NWS) warned.

According to the NWS, the storm will cause “widespread flooding, submerged roads, landslides, downed trees, widespread power outages, immediate disruption to commerce and, worst of all, loss of life.” »

The West Coast, which has been hit hard by years of drought, has been battered by a series of storms for weeks, with record rainfall in some places.

Parts of Northern California were hit by landslides and power outages after a powerful storm hit New Year’s Day. Officials say at least one person has died after their car got stuck in the flood.

On December 31, San Francisco experienced its second wettest in history with 14 centimeters of rain since the initiative began.

On Tuesday, California had already received a good rain shower. Rainfall is expected to intensify significantly on Wednesday and Thursday, with nearly 13 centimeters of rain expected in the state capital, Sacramento.

The NWS warned on Twitter of “the risk of widespread flooding and wind-related damage” along San Francisco Bay and California’s central coast.

The agency advises residents of threatened areas to prepare an “emergency bag” for quick evacuation if necessary, and warns of mudslides or landslides.

The expected rain comes from an “atmospheric river,” a narrow band in the atmosphere that carries large amounts of moisture from the tropics.

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These rivers in the sky, which can accumulate a volume of water vapor equivalent to the liquid transported by some of the largest terrestrial rivers, are not exceptional in California during the winter.

But the current phenomenon is accompanied by a “low-pressure bomb” capable of causing the pressure to drop suddenly and very quickly, thus creating very violent winds.

Meteorologists say that while these downpours are welcome because of the two decades of drought that has plagued the American West, they are not enough, and could be problematic: parched soils have difficulty getting water, leading to flash floods.