A powerful storm has battered Southern California, prompting Governor Gavin Newsom to declare a state of emergency for eight counties, including Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Santa Barbara. The storm, described by the National Weather Service (NWS) as the “largest of the season,” has unleashed heavy rains, strong winds, and life-threatening impacts.
Governor Newsom expressed the severity of the situation, stating, “This is a serious storm with dangerous and potentially life-threatening impacts.” The storm has left swaths of California flooded, with nearly 700,000 customers without power, according to PowerOutage.us. Major disruptions in travel were reported, with dozens of flights delayed or canceled at Los Angeles airport, as indicated by flightaware.com.
The NWS issued warnings of a “strong Pacific storm system” bringing impactful and dangerous conditions, including flooding rains, heavy snow, strong winds, coastal flooding, and high surf. The heavy rainfall poses threats of flash floods, urban flooding, river flooding, debris flows, and mudslides.
This storm, characterized by gusts exceeding 60 miles per hour, is part of a weather phenomenon known as the “Pineapple Express,” originating in Hawaii near the source of tropical moisture. The NWS emphasized that this is the largest storm of the season, contributing to the challenges faced by the US West Coast during the winter.
Last year, the region endured a difficult winter with atmospheric rivers causing widespread flooding and travel disruptions. Despite the challenges, it helped replenish severely depleted reservoirs that had reached record lows due to years of intense drought.
While wet weather is not uncommon during California’s winters, scientists point to human-induced climate change as a factor altering global weather patterns. The recent storm underscores the ongoing impact of changing climate conditions on the region, with authorities urging residents to stay vigilant and follow safety measures in the face of the evolving weather crisis.
Sources By Agencies