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California hit with significant atmospheric river; 90% of state under flood watch

California Storms
Posted at 2:41 PM, Jan 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-10 16:41:33-05

California's coast has been hit with a series of relentless atmospheric rivers that are being called "ARkStorm 2.0."

The monthlong series of hits have pummeled the coast triggering flood watches and evacuations.

Schools and roadways had to be closed across the state as torrential rain and flooding that was "widespread" caused fast rising water levels that threatened mudslides and landslides.

The Associated Press reported that the search for a 5-year-old swept away by floodwaters in California's Central Coast had to be called off. The death toll from the storms had risen to at least 14 by Monday.

Experts say climate change has had a hand in the weather pattern, and it is feared that more of these extreme storms could lead to a "megaflood," as one study published in Science Advances reported.

Atmospheric rivers can carry more moisture than before now, according to a 69-year-long catalog of monitoring them as they make land-fall, according to a paper published in Advancing Earth and Space Science.

Over 16 inches of rain had fallen in the Santa Barbara mountains, and around 7.12 inches fell on Los Angeles County this week.

The National Weather Service (NWS) issued flood watches for around 90% of California putting over 34 million people in the state under the threat of watches.