NASA Map Exhibits How Atmospheric River’s Intense Rainfall Drenched LA

The large volumes of rain that had been dumped over Los Angeles and surrounding areas over the past week, inflicting flooding, mudslides and mass destruction, could be seen in a brand new NASA map.

The map reveals the typical rainfall fee per hour throughout the world between the afternoons of February 4 and February 6, as estimated by satellite tv for pc knowledge.

The rainfall was so heavy {that a} state of emergency was declared for a number of counties in Southern California on Sunday, with energy being knocked out for hundreds of residents amid flash floods and mudslides. A number of lives had been misplaced.

Nationwide Climate Service knowledge exhibits that components of Los Angeles County noticed over 13 inches of rainfall throughout the 4 days previous to February 6. Monday and Tuesday was the wettest two-day interval in Los Angeles since 1956, with 7.03 inches falling over the 48 hours.

Los Angeles normally solely sees 3.64 inches of rain throughout the whole month of February. Downtown LA’s yearly common rainfall is barely about 14.25 inches.

NASA map of the typical fee of rainfall throughout Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. The atmospheric river led to flooding and mudslides in California, with LA being hit worst.

NASA Earth Observatory picture by Lauren Dauphin, utilizing IMERG knowledge from the World Precipitation Mission GPM at NASA/GSFC.

Atmospheric rivers are huge streams of water vapor that kind within the tropics and transfer over land, bringing with them heavy rain and snowfall. The storm that hit California just one week earlier than this storm was referred to as a Pineapple Categorical, because it originated close to Hawaii.

“More and more saturated situations and ongoing flooding might be additional exacerbated by this extra rainfall, persevering with the risk for life-threatening, regionally catastrophic flash, city, and small stream flooding, in addition to a risk for particles flows and mudslides,” the NWS stated in an advisory on Monday, threatening “life-threatening flash flooding”

An NWS Climate Prediction Heart map exhibits the three-day-average complete rainfall throughout Southern California.

“File-breaking quantities of rain fell in southern California, which resulted in vital flash floods, particles flows, and mudslides,” the NWS Climate Prediction Heart stated because it posted the map to X, previously Twitter, on Wednesday.

“It could not rain in California, but it surely actually pours! Important impacts: flash flooding, rock and dirt slides, particles flows, downed bushes and powerlines & many swiftwater rescues,” NWS Los Angeles stated in a repost of the map.

Some 475 mudslides had been triggered by the highly effective rainfall round Los Angeles, and over 400 bushes had been blown over by the extreme winds. Gusts of 125 miles per hour had been recorded at Mammoth Mountain in Central California, with San Francisco seeing gusts of 77 mph. As of Wednesday morning, 70,000 individuals throughout California had been with out energy as a result of injury to the facility grid.

A preliminary estimate from Accuweather forecasts $11 billion in injury and financial losses. 9 individuals have reportedly died throughout the state from the consequences of the storm as of Tuesday, in accordance with the Los Angeles Occasions, together with 4 from falling bushes, and three in car-related deaths. One particular person was swept from their automotive into floodwaters, whereas others crashed on account of the stormy climate and moist roads.

mudslide california
An individual makes an attempt to clear particles from a mudslide on February 5, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California. The storm has led to widespread flooding, landslides and energy outages.

Mario Tama/Getty Photos

One small win from this storm, and the opposite atmospheric river that slammed into California solely per week prior, is that the extreme rainfall and elevated mountain snowpack (which can soften within the spring) could assist alleviate a few of California’s megadrought-parched groundwater provides. Based on Marty Adams, the overall supervisor of the Los Angeles Division of Water and Energy, over 1 billion gallons of rain had been captured for groundwater and native provides throughout this storm alone.

Nonetheless, a single intense storm is not fairly sufficient to remedy the area of drought, particularly contemplating the encroaching results of local weather change.

“Due to the rising position of warming in inflicting the drought, it’s seemingly that the area will proceed to turn out to be extra arid till local weather change is stopped lifeless in its tracks,” Jonathan Overpeck, dean of environmental research on the College of Michigan, advised Newsweek.

“That stated, there’ll proceed to be wetter years the place the drought impacts might be lessened, intermixed with a higher variety of dry years the place the drought impacts will intensify. The one option to get out of an ever-worsening cycle of drought is to halt the trigger, and that trigger is the burning of fossil fuels and local weather change.”

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