California battens down for “life-threatening” floods, hurricane-force winds as another storm hits | Science-Environment

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California battens down for “life-threatening” floods, hurricane-force winds as another storm hits | Science-Environment


Storm-battered California faced another hit on Sunday as forecasters predicted heavy rainfall and hurricane-force winds might batter most of the state, threatening floods, mudslides and power outages. The storm is the second Pineapple Express weather system, or atmospheric river storm, to hit the state in the past week and arrives as Los Angeles welcomes scores of celebrities for the music industry’s glitzy Grammy awards.

The severe weather conditions prompted the National Weather Service’s Bay Area office to issue an extremely rare hurricane-force wind warning for Big Sur and nearby areas. “It is quite extreme at the moment,” Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at the University of California Los Angeles, said of the gusts sweeping the region in a live-stream on Sunday.

The NWS recorded peak wind gusts

of 70 mph (112.6 kph) in various locations across the state. Marking another rare event, the weather agency put a large swath of southern California under a “High Risk of Excessive Rainfall” through Monday.

“This heavy rainfall will bring the threat for life-threatening flash, urban, and river flooding as well as debris flows and mudslides,” the NWS said in a bulletin released on Sunday. The coastal city and port of Long Beach near Los Angeles can get more rain this week than it does during an entire year, said Mayor Rex Richardson, who is expecting 5-7 inches (13-18 cm) starting Sunday through Tuesday.

Los Angeles can get hit with as much wind and rain as what Tropical Storm Hilary brought in August, Mayor Karen Bass said. California’s southern and central coasts are bracing for an inch of rain an hour and totals of 3-6 inches (7-15 cm), the United States. National Weather Service said. As much as 6-12 inches are expected in the foothills and lower-elevation mountains.

The weather agency designated areas including Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties as high risk for excessive rainfall both Sunday and Monday, forecasting “near continuous rainfall” for the next 48 hours. With soil already saturated and streams running high, the flood potential is even higher, forecasters said.

Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties issued evacuation orders for some residents due to the risk of life-threatening floods from the storm. Mandatory evacuations were in effect in parts of the San Jose region and Ventura County. Rain will turn into heavy snow at higher elevations in the mountain ranges of northern California and the Sierra Nevada, with total accumulation of several feet forecast for the Sierra region through Tuesday, and snow rates of 2-3 inches per hour the NWS said.

 

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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