Drought-stricken California battered by intense rain and winds

Drought-stricken California battered by intense rain and winds

Drought-stricken California was battered with intense rain and winds since early Thursday morning, December 11, as well as parts of Oregon and Washington in what US National Weather Service (NWS) office in California forecasted as one of the strongest storms in terms of wind and rain intensity since October 2009.

This strong Pacific storm killed at least two people on Thursday, knocked out power for tens of thousands, flooded major roadways, disrupted flights, forced schools to close and caused mudslides and evacuations in Southern California.

2.91 inches (73 mm) of rain was recorded in just one hour on the Big Sur coast Thursday. During yesterday's full 24 hours, 3.55 inches (90 mm) of rain fell in the San Francisco Bay Area, it was their second wettest December 11 on record.

NWS said the storm will continue moving through the western states through the weekend. Impacts will include heavy precipitation, including mountain snows affecting travelers, strong, damaging winds, flash flooding, mud and debris flows, mainstem river flooding and damaging high surf. Thunderstorms and waterspouts are possible Friday in California and just off the coast.

Short-range forecast - Friday, December 12, 2014. Credit: NWS

Mud and debris has flowed onto homes in Camarillo Springs and a mudslide has blocked a stretch of Pacific Coast Highway with up to 18 inches (45 cm) of mud, Ventura County officials told The Weather Channel.

Experts say California needs at least 8 - 10 storms like this just to get back to normal.

Featured image: NASA Aqua/MODIS acquired December 11, 2014.


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