Atmospheric River slams into California
LOS ANGELES, CA (WENY)-- A major atmospheric river has parked itself over the West Coast, unleashing heavy rains, hurricane-force winds, and several feet of snow. The worst of the weather has been pounding Southern California where several months of rain fell in just two days.
'' In downtown Los Angeles, the three day total is 8.13 inches of rain. The two day total as of yesterday ended up being the third all-time high of two days at 7.55 inches,'' said Brent Bower, Senior Meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Los Angeles.
Southern California has an arid to semi-arid climate with Los Angeles only receiving about 14'' of rain annually. Mr. Bower said that many places picked up seventy to eighty percent of their annual rain in the last few days. These excessive rains triggered numerous floodings and landslides.
'' There's powerlines down and places that lost power. They are trying to get that up. There have been water rescues throughout the storm period and certainly clean up from mud and landslides,'' said Brent Bower.
By Tuesday morning, there were over 300 reports of mudslides and over two dozen structural damages near the Los Angeles area.
While the worst of the rain would have likely occurred the past few days, the National Weather Service still has much of Southern California under marginal and slight risks for excessive rains through Wednesday.
Mountains over the region were pounded with heavy snow and winds reaching hurricane force. In Northern California, winds of 90 miles per hour knocked out power to over 800,000 businesses and homes.
This atmospheric river was likely powered by the very warm El Nino waters of the Pacific.