11th Atmospheric River Storm Expected for Souther California
Southern California, including Los Angeles County, is preparing for an incoming atmospheric river storm that is anticipated to bring heavy rainfall, strong winds, flooding, and landslides. This will mark the 11th occurrence of such a storm during this season, leading to power outages for many and the evacuation of thousands.
The National Weather Service has voiced particular concern about flooding in areas such as the Lake fire burn scar near Lake Hughes, north of the Santa Clarita Valley, and the Fish and Bobcat fires burn scars near Duarte. There is a chance of flood watches being implemented in the mountainous regions of Los Angeles County.
According to weather forecasts, a significant storm system is expected to produce heavy snow and strong winds in the West, Northern Plains, and upper Midwest, along with severe thunderstorms in the South, over the course of this weekend and next week. The storm is expected to enter the West this weekend and track toward the central U.S. next week, with heavy snow and strong winds accompanying its wintry side in the West, Northern Plains, and upper Midwest. Meanwhile, severe thunderstorms, which could involve possible tornadoes, could impact the South.
Atmospheric river storms are weather phenomena that result in intense precipitation and strong winds over several days. These storms typically arise as long, narrow pathways of elevated water vapor originating in the tropics, which then move toward the poles with prevailing winds. Upon reaching land, the storms can release considerable amounts of rain, leading to flooding and landslides.
Southern California, and especially Los Angeles County, often experience atmospheric river storms, which tend to be the primary source of precipitation in the area during winter. However, these storms can also cause severe disruption and damage.
In January 2017, Southern California witnessed a particularly intense atmospheric river storm that resulted in extensive flooding, mudslides, and power outages. The storm led to millions of dollars in damage and claimed several lives. In response, local authorities ordered evacuations for vulnerable areas, closed schools and businesses, and activated emergency response teams.
To brace for future atmospheric river storms, it is vital for residents and officials in Southern California to devise emergency plans. This may entail actions such as removing debris from storm drains and gutters, fortifying infrastructure and buildings, and ensuring clear and accessible evacuation routes.