California’s most intense atmospheric flow to date The ongoing series of deadly storms exacerbated the dangerous conditions of the previous torrential downpour, creating startling – and chilling – scenes earlier in the week.
Since New Year’s Eve, a parade of storms has battered the Pacific coast, with damaging rains and intense winds mostly concentrated in northern and central California. With little time to clean up and mitigate damage between storms, the impact increased in intensity with each severe round Rain that led to devastating floods, dangerous landslides and even some large sinkholes.
As of Wednesday, more than a dozen storm-related deaths had been recorded across the state, and the economic toll will likely make the storms the first billion-dollar weather event of the year.
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AccuWeather’s preliminary estimates of the total damage and economic cost of the storm series range from $31 billion to $34 billion following the deaths of 17 people including at least one child, widespread power outages, major flooding, road closures, numerous landslides and mudslides, and property damage.
Here are just some of the scenes Californians captured during the violent storms earlier in the week:
In video that has since gone viral, a round of golf was coming to an end at an oceanfront country club in Monterey County when a massive wave threw golfers into flight.
Peter Butler had recorded the rough surf as he and his friends watched from the 14th hole at the Monterey Peninsula Country Club. One particularly massive wave caught their attention when it crashed onto shore — and then the water showed no sign of stopping.
“Look at that, dude. It’s going to hit those cars,” one person mused as realization dawned on Butler.
“It’s going to hit us, dude,” he said as the waves rushed forward.
A friend repeated his observation as they turned and charged for higher ground.
“Go! Go!” Butler shouted, and the video shook as he ran. Her screams were muffled by the sound of the wind rushing past the microphone and the wave crashing in the background. As the camera stabilized and rotated behind them, water sloshed over the course and around their golf cart.
While most of the storm’s large-scale impact was concentrated in northern and central California, the southern end of the state was not left unscathed. A huge hole in the ground swallowed two vehicles traveling down Iverson Roadsouth of the 118 Freeway, in the Chatsworth neighborhood of Los Angeles on Tuesday, January 10.
Video captured at the scene showed a badly damaged silver compact car lying on the floor of the large open pit mine. The airbags still deployed, and the car’s bumper and headlights were smashed in, although the hood remained intact. The ceiling retained numerous dents.
The second vehicle, a pickup, had landed on the small caraccording to KTLA News, the two occupants of the smaller car — a woman and her teenage daughter — were trapped inside.
About 50 first responders from the Los Angeles Fire Department, Los Angeles County Fire Department and Ventura Fire worked for about an hour to extricate the mother and daughter and pull them from the approximately 40-foot-deep sinkhole.
The occupants of the van were able to free themselves unharmed, the mother and daughter were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
As round after round of torrential rains hit the California coast, the risk of mudslides and rockfalls across the state quickly escalated.
A California Highway Police officer in Fresno County captured dramatic video of a rockfall rolling down the mountain on Mondaycrashed into the flooded State Route 168 road. No cars were in the path of the rockfall and authorities warned travelers to avoid the area around nearby Shaver Lake if possible.
Both heavy rains and drought alone can cause landslides, and when heavy rain falls over a drought-stricken area, the chances of mountainsides remaining stable aren’t much better.
“Drought in a region can of course leave the soil exceptionally dry, especially if drought conditions persist. When heavy rainfall hits such an area, the dry soil has a harder time absorbing the rain,” said AccuWeather meteorologist Courtney Travis. “Instead, it runs off and washes away every crumbly subsoil, especially in mountainous terrain.”
US Drought Monitor data show All of Fresno County experienced at least severe drought conditions during the last week of 2022, the widespread conditions dating back at least to September. As of January 3, only 75% of the county is still under at least severe drought conditions.
On Tuesday, the California Highway Police released a photo of the fallen rocks near an excavator to provide a better perspective of the size of the fallen boulders.
Amid the relentless rains, mudslides in upper Montecito, California, damaged a large section of road after evacuation orders were issued for the area.
Dalton Schuster filmed a collapsed section of road on East Mountain Drive, near the home of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Water poured into the fallen room, forming a small river.
The royal couple live near the home of Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres. who filmed the severe flooding in Montecito on January 9th.
“That creek next to our house never flows,” DeGeneres said on camera, the creek behind her more like rapids than a stagnant stream.
All of Montecito as well as parts of Carpinteria, Summerland and the city of Santa Barbara were ordered to leave due to an immediate evacuation order on Monday January 9th.
Strong thunderstorms delivered heavy rain and high winds through the Bay Area in the early hours of Tuesday morning and left the region by noon. However, they didn’t leave without throwing some hail into the mix.
Hailstones pelted the Bay Area and nearby towns on Tuesday, January 10, and while they may have been small, In some places the small stones began to pile up.
In San Ramon, a city in California’s Contra Costa County, more than 30 miles east of San Francisco, a Twitter user recorded tiny hailstones billowing around their potted plants and covering a small patio.
A scene from Berkeley, a town on the east shore of San Francisco Bay in Alameda County, showed a garden where the earth was buried under hail, though from a distance it looked more like a light blanket of snow.
The current snow cover in the Sierra is 184 to 269% of normal for this point in the season, the agency said.
Still, it’s important to remember that “these storms didn’t end the drought.” California Department of Water Resources said.
“Storage in major reservoirs remains below average, and conditions could turn dry again this winter, offsetting recent rain and snow,” state water officials said said. “California statewide reservoir storage is currently only 82% of the average for this time of year. Storage in Lake Oroville is 88% of the average for this date and the state’s largest reservoir, Shasta, is only 70% of the average for this date.”
Produced in collaboration with AccuWeather.
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https://www.westernjournal.com/zg-5-incredible-videos-that-captured-the-ferocity-of-the-atmospheric-river/ 5 Incredible Videos That Captured The Wildness Of Atmospheric Flow