Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Storms trigger flooding in drought-hit California

One of the most powerful El Niños on record has brought torrential rain to California.

The heavy rain triggered a number of floods and mudflows across the western US state, forcing the closure of a several roads. Dangerous waves sparked the risk of flooding along the coastline.

Although the storms brought disruption, the rain was desperately needed in the state, which is in the grip of its worst drought in more than a century.

Much of the rain that fell was absorbed by the soil, but some was able to add to the water levels of the reservoirs.

 Heavy snow in the mountains was also welcomed, as much of California's water supply comes from snow melt.

Los Angeles reported 36mm of rain on Tuesday, which is almost half the average for the entire month of January. Although the precipitation was significant, there is still a long way to go before the drought is alleviated.

The city has only reported average rainfall since the beginning of October 2015. Climate experts say that twice the annual rainfall is needed across the state before the drought is fully eased.

Recent storms have been enhanced by El Niño, the significant warming of the surface temperatures of the Pacific Ocean.

The current El Niño is one of the strongest on record and has already had a major impact on the weather in other parts of the globe, including flooding in South America, drought in South Africa, and drought in Southeast Asia that resulted in the worst haze on record.

More rain is expected in California over the next few days before it is expected to ease on Friday.
Source: Al Jazeera


1 comment:

  1. Local media reported that Californians are trying to protect their properties after the first El Nino storms hit this week and brought wet and windy weather to a region stretching up to the Gulf Coast...

    The storms dumped almost 3 inches of rain on Tuesday in Southern California. The condition continues to deteriorate as the winter's strongest El Nino storm pushed into the state.

    Heavy downpours inundated the San Francisco Bay Area in the morning, toppling trees and causing nearly two dozen crashes. The weather system pushed south in the direction of Los Angeles, generating high waves in the ocean and causing severe flooding in San Fernando Valley.

    The system brought heavier rainfall and packed colder temperatures and stronger winds than the previous storms that dumped much-needed rain to the drought-stricken state. In spite of the potential for flood and mudslides, the wet weather was welcome development for California which has been dealing with a severe drought.

    National Weather Service (NWS) meteorologist Curt Kaplan said the current storm is expected to bring 3 more inches of rain in coastal and valley areas and as much as 4 inches at higher elevations.


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