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Severe rainfall inundates San Francisco


A severe storm hit San Francisco Bay Area on December 15, 2016. Heavy rainfalls caused flooding in some areas. Widespread traffic disruptions and delays have been reported.

Over 25.4 mm (1 inch) of rainfall was recorded in San Francisco in a 24 hour period. Northern areas reported between 101.6 and 127 mm (4 and 5 inches) of precipitation while almost 177.8 mm (7 inches) was observed in portions of the Sierra Nevada.

Almost 177.8 mm (7 inches) of rain was recorded in a 24 hour period in a small town in the North Bay.

By the end of December 15 (local time) the storm moved toward the Los Angeles.

72-hr accumulated rainfall as observed by the GPM Core Observatory

72-hr accumulated rainfall as observed by the GPM Core Observatory. Image credit: Google/NASA/JAXA/GPM

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), between 12.7 and 76.2 mm (0.5 and 3 inches) of rainfall was expected in Southern California on the morning of December 16 (local time). Flash flood warnings and watches have been issued accordingly, especially for regions of barren hillsides and mountain slopes such as those along the Central Coast.

Strong winds with gusts up to 160.9 km/h (100 mph) were reported in the Sierra Nevada. In the upper regions around Lake Tahoe, between 30.5 and 91.4 cm (1 and 3 feet) of snow was forecast and a winter storm warning was in place until 04:00 on December 16 (local time).

Over 100 flights were canceled and 360 were delayed at the San Francisco International Airport. Due to a risk of mudslides and flooding, the fire station officials in Los Angeles were handing out sandbags, and residents were warned to stay off foothills and burned areas.

Drivers were also urged to exercise extreme caution and avoid driving through flooding waters.

San Francisco already received abundant rainfalls this year. 61.7 mm (2.43 inches) of rain fell in a period of 12 days in October, an amount twice the total accumulation from 2015. According to meteorologists, that was the highest amount received in the region, in a month, in more than hundred years.

Featured image: San Francisco Bay Bridge, December 14, 2016. Image credit: ABC


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