As the 12th atmospheric river of the season takes aim at California, residents are bracing for a deluge of floods, downpours, and rough winds. The atmospheric river, a phenomenon characterized by a concentrated plume of subtropical moisture, has already been responsible for torrential precipitation across the Golden State. From the North Coast to the Central Valley and beyond, California is experiencing the full brunt of this atmospheric onslaught.
Recent flooding has compounded the already severe hydrologic deficits associated with the current drought. In addition to inundating agricultural land and low-lying infrastructure, the downpours have prompted a heightened risk of debris flows, landslides, and mudslides. Meteorologists have warned that the impacts of the atmospheric river could be exacerbated by the combination of saturated soils and saturated air.
The storms are also expected to bring gale-force winds, which could further aggravate the situation. In fact, the National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning for much of the state. Strong gusts could damage homes, power lines, and other property.
To mitigate the impacts of this event, state and local officials have urged residents to be prepared and to take precautions. Leveraging the latest in meteorological technology, agencies are providing information to help citizens stay informed and safe.
This is the latest in a string of atmospheric rivers that have drenched the state this winter, and the inundation is expected to continue in the coming weeks. As a result, California residents must remain vigilant and be prepared to face the onslaught of flooding, downpours, and rough winds.