An(other) atmospheric river dumped (more) heavy rain on California, leaving (more) death and destruction in its wake less than a week after a similar system brought record rainfall and saturated soil with water. Evacuations have been ordered in landslide-prone areas, nearly all of Northern and Central California is under flood watches and high-wind warnings with schools closed, flights delayed and canceled, more than 180,000 electricity customers without power as of 5:26 am local time, and a production of Broadway’s “Frozen” was canceled in Sacramento.
Even with the deluge of precipitation, California remains in the midst of the worst megadrought in centuries. “The significant Sierra snowpack is good news but unfortunately these same storms are bringing flooding to parts of California,” Karla Nemeth, head of the Cal. Dept. of Water Resources, said in a statement. “This is a prime example of the threat of extreme flooding during a prolonged drought as California experiences more swings between wet and dry periods brought on by our changing climate.”
“With the disruption to global weather patterns that climate change is bringing the probability of seeing unusual weather events in any season increases,” climatologist Jeff Masters told the AP. (San Francisco Chronicle, Sacramento Bee $, Washington Post $, Washington Post PHOTOS $, AP, Axios, New York Times $, AP, Washington Post $, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle; Deaths: Sacramento Bee $, San Francisco Chronicle; Frozen: Sacramento Bee $; Wind: San Francisco Chronicle; Drought: CNN, E&E $, Gizmodo; Climate Signals background: Extreme precipitation increase, Western Megadrought)