The storm formerly known as Hurricane Hilary broke “virtually all rainfall daily records,” the National Weather Service said Monday. The now post-tropical storm forced more than 1,000 canceled flights, set off destructive landslides, and blocked some streets with downed trees while turning others into rivers. Climate change, mainly caused by the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels, is making extreme precipitation events worse and more frequent because warmer air holds (and can thus release) more moisture. “Warmer oceans are hurricane fuel,” UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain told The Guardian.
The debris flow bearing down on Jane and Hayden O’Donnell’s apple orchard in Oak Glen sounded “like a train was coming through … It was a rumbling, a groaning. It sounded wicked.” Jane told the LA Times. “We got out right in time. The roar was coming and I said, ‘We got to go.’” (Rainfall records/Hilary generally: The Hill, AP, Washington Post $, AP, AP, LA Times $, LA Times $, AP, WBUR, LA Times $, Democracy Now, NPR, Axios; Flights: The Hill; Oak Glen: LA Times $; Climate: E&E News, The Guardian explainer, Grist; Photos: NewsOne, Washington Post $, Axios, Heatmap $; Lake Mead: The Hill; Looking ahead: Heatmap $, The Hill, Heatmap $, The Verge; Climate Signals background: Extreme precipitation increase; Hurricanes)