US Weather: ‘Atmospheric River’ Storm Sees California Hit by Heavy Rain and Snow | American News
Heavy rain and snowfall hit parts of California, just days after a severe bombshell cyclone hit the United States.
As Californians prepared to ring New Yearauthorities have issued evacuation orders for parts of the upstate US due to the risk of flooding.
Cities and towns around the city of Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area were among the hardest hit by Saturday’s deluge, with up to 9.3 centimeters falling during the day.
Rainfall in downtown San Francisco on Saturday topped 3.3 inches (8.3 cm) Saturday afternoon, one of the highest daily precipitation events since 1994.
Photographs show major roads closed due to flooding, while a section of the famous US 101 freeway south of the city was also closed on Saturday.
Some rainfall totals in the surrounding San Francisco Bay Area exceeded 4 inches (10 cm), while up to 5.3 inches (14 cm) were recorded east of Sacramento near the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
A woman was seen being rescued from a car that had stalled in floodwaters in the town of Pleasant Hill, northeast of San Francisco. Other images show roads across Northern California closed due to landslides.
Homes in the Sacramento area were affected by power outages, with as many as 153,000 customers affected Saturday, according to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD).
Meanwhile, to the east, in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, experts have warned of up to 0.6m of snow.
Sacramento’s National Weather Service (NWS) warned of dangerous driving conditions and posted photos on Twitter showing traffic over snow-covered mountain passes.
The wet weather pattern is referred to as an “atmospheric river storm”, driving a long, wide plume of moisture from the Pacific Ocean.
Meteorologist Courtney Carpenter said the storm could bring about an inch of rain to the Sacramento area before moving south.
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This is the first of several storms expected to move through California over the next week.
The current system is expected to be warmer and wetter, while next week’s storms will be colder, said Hannah Chandler-Cooley, an NWS meteorologist in Sacramento.
It comes after the central and eastern United States were hit by an American bomb cyclonebringing huge snowstorms and cold snaps as low as -45C.
More than 200 million people — about 60% of the U.S. population — were on some form of winter weather advisory or warning in late December, with the National Weather Service calling it a “historic winter storm.”
The storm claimed at least 57 lives in the United States, and four more people were killed in Canada after a bus overturned on icy roads in British Columbia.
In the United States, 28 of the deaths have been in New York state, most in Erie County, where the main city of Buffalo has been hard hit.