Flooding in California from Severe Storms | The World | D.W.
The second day of a huge storm brought strong winds, torrential rains, and heavy snowfall to California on Thursday (05.01.2023). This caused localized flooding, power outages for tens of thousands of people, and damage to infrastructure. The storm was driven by two overlapping phenomena: a huge airflow of dense moisture from the Pacific Ocean called an “atmospheric river,” and a hurricane-force expansion known as a bomb cyclone.
The San Francisco Bay Area, the state capital Sacramento, and the surrounding region are still recovering from the storm. The National Weather Service (NWS) has predicted rainfall of one inch (2.5 cm) per hour, with snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains and the coastal ranges of southern California falling at the rate of 3 inches (7.6 cm) per hour. This makes road travel treacherous. The NWS has also warned of probable flash flooding and mudslides, especially in places still saturated from previous storms and areas with bare hillsides.
On Thursday afternoon, the rain began to subside, but the effects of the storm continue. Winter storm watches are in place for Nevada and flood watches continue for central and coastal California through early Friday, according to the NWS.
California, and much of the western United States, has suffered from a drought for more than two decades.