The latest Pacific storm unleashed torrential downpours and devastating winds in California on Tuesday, a day after increased risks of flooding and mudslides prompted thousands of evacuations and caused widespread power outages.
Rainfall throughout the day is expected to be “heavy to excessive” across the state, particularly in Southern California, as wind gusts in excess of 40 miles per hour were recorded in many locations, the National Weather Service said.
The high winds wreaked havoc on the power grid, knocking out power to tens of thousands of Californians. As many as 220,000 homes and businesses were without power Tuesday morning, according to data from
The treacherous weather, which is expected to dump up to 18cm of rain in some areas by Wednesday, could cause widespread flooding, rapidly rising waters, landslides and landslides, especially in areas where the ground has been saturated by previous heavy rains. , warned the service.
Experts say the increasing frequency and intensity of these storms, interspersed with periods of extreme drought, are symptoms of climate change, posing greater challenges to managing California’s precious water supplies while minimizing risks. floods, mudslides and forest fires.
The weather service’s forecast comes after the evacuation of some 25,000 people, including the entire picturesque town Montecitoa wealthy coastal enclave 90 miles northwest of Los Angeles, and nearby areas of coastal Santa Barbara, due to increased risk of flooding and mudslides.
The Montecito evacuation zone was among 17 areas in California where authorities fear ongoing torrential downpours could unleash deadly cascades of mud, boulders and other debris into hills denuded by wildfires. past.
The torrential rains, along with heavy snow in mountainous areas, are the product of another “atmospheric river” of dense moisture channeled into California from the tropical Pacific, fed by sprawling low-pressure systems bubbling offshore.
At least a dozen deaths have been attributed to back-to-back storms that have battered California since Dec. 26, including a toddler killed when a redwood tree blew into his family’s trailer last week.

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