Severe Storm Threatens California

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A severe storm threatens California

Authorities started distributing sandbags to citizens on January 3 .

A 'brutal' storm, capable of generating torrential rains and potentially deadly flooding, will hit California mid-week, meteorologists have warned Tuesday.

This powerful low pressure system is expected to sweep the Pacific coast of the United States on Wednesday and Thursday. Authorities are calling on residents to prepare.

This is truly a brutal system that should be taken seriously, the US Weather Service (NWS) has warned. ).

“[This storm will cause] severe flooding, submergence of roads, landslides, falling trees, major power outages, immediate disruption of commerce and, worse still, probable loss of life. human. »

— The United States Weather Service

Hardly hit by drought for years, the west coast has been hit for several weeks by a series of storms that have caused near- precipitation records in some places.

Parts of Northern California are still suffering from the aftermath of a powerful storm that swept through on New Years Eve and caused landslides and power outages. At least one person died after being trapped in their car by flooding, authorities said.

December 31, San Francisco recorded the second wettest day in its history since the launch of this measurement with 14 centimeters of precipitation.

On Tuesday, a fine rain had already reached California. Precipitation is expected to intensify markedly Wednesday and Thursday with nearly 13 centimeters of rain expected in the state capital, Sacramento.

The NWS has warned on Twitter against the risk of major flooding and wind-related damage in the San Francisco Bay and the Central Coast of California.

The agency advises people in threatened areas to pack an emergency bag so they can quickly evacuate if needed and warns of possible mudslides or landslides.

The expected rain comes from an atmospheric river, a narrow band in the atmosphere that carries huge amounts of moisture from the tropics.

These rivers in the sky, which concentrate volumes of water vapor equivalent to the liquid transported by certain large terrestrial rivers, are far from exceptional in winter in California.

However, the current phenomenon is accompanied by a depression bomb, a system capable of dropping the pressure suddenly and very quickly, thus generating very violent winds.

If these torrential rains are welcome given the drought that has hit the American West since is two decades, they are not enough and can prove problematic, according to meteorologists: dry soils have difficulty absorbing a deluge of water and this causes flash floods.

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