Intense storm hits California, at least 6 fatalities, 280 000 customers without power

Intense storm hits California, at least 6 fatalities, 280 000 customers without power

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A powerful storm has swept over parts of the West Coast U.S. this week, wreaking havoc across California on January 16 and 17, 2019. At least 6 fatalities have been reported.

The storm downed trees and power lines all around Northern California, causing evacuations across fire-stricken areas, land and air traffic chaos and leaving nearly 300 000 customers without power.

It dumped as much as 250 mm (10 inches) of rain in parts of Southern California and between 76 -  150 mm (3 - 6 inches) in Los Angeles.

Blizzard conditions blanketed the higher elevations of the Sierra Nevada, prompting a blizzard warning for much of the Sierra Nevada and Lake Tahoe on Wednesday night, January 16, AccuWeather reports.

Winds gusted up to 263 km/h (164 mph) at the summit of Mammoth Mountain, California, on Thursday morning, according to AccuWeather Extreme Meteorologist Reed Timmer. Winds this strong are comparable to that found in a major hurricane.

Peak wind gusts:

NOUS46 KLOX 172328
 PNSLOX
 CAZ034>041-044>046-051>054-059-087-088-547>550-181119-
 
 Public Information Statement
 National Weather Service Los Angeles/Oxnard CA
 319 PM PST Thu Jan 17 2019
 
 ...PEAK WIND GUSTS FOR THE PAST 24 HOURS...
 
 Location                     Speed     Time/Date       Elevation (ft.)      
 
 ...Ventura County Mountains...
 Rose Valley ALERT            62 MPH    1115 AM 01/17   3400                 
 Sycamore Canyon              45 MPH    1215 AM 01/17   4841                 
 
 ...Ventura County Coastal Valleys...
 South Mountain               41 MPH    0430 AM 01/17   1980                 
 
 ...Ventura County Coast...
 South Mtn West - Alert #2650 64 MPH    0545 AM 01/17   660                  
 
 ...Santa Ynez Valley...
 Foxen Canyon                 38 MPH    0240 PM 01/16   970                  
 
 ...Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area...
 Saddle Peak                  52 MPH    0439 AM 01/17   2450                 
 Topanga                      35 MPH    0357 AM 01/17   1600                 
 
 ...Santa Cruz and Anacapa Islands...
 Santa Cruz Island Central    39 MPH    0705 AM 01/17   75                   
 
 ...Santa Clarita Valley...
 Golden Valley HS             38 MPH    0420 AM 01/17   1875                 
 Saugus                       35 MPH    0257 AM 01/17   1450                 
 
 ...Santa Barbara County South Coast...
 Gaviota Hills RAWS           41 MPH    0809 PM 01/16   877                  
 Refugio Hills                37 MPH    0706 AM 01/17   1464                 
 
 ...Santa Barbara County Mountains...
 Santa Barbara Portrero       66 MPH    0816 PM 01/16   5300                 
 Tepusquet                    52 MPH    0306 AM 01/17   3200                 
 San Marcos Rd                38 MPH    0600 AM 01/17   3510                 
 
 ...Santa Barbara County Central Coast...
 Lompoc Hills                 47 MPH    0237 AM 01/17   1528                 
 Vandenberg Hills             42 MPH    0222 AM 01/17   1017                 
 Point Arguello Cman          39 MPH    0200 PM 01/16   105                  
 Vandenberg AFB               38 MPH    0211 AM 01/17   369                  
 Pt. Conception Lighthouse    38 MPH    0156 AM 01/17   24                   
 Hills above Harris Canyon    37 MPH    0220 AM 01/17   834                  
 Santa Maria Apt.             35 MPH    0251 PM 01/16   242                  
 
 ...San Miguel and Santa Rosa Islands...
 Santa Rosa Island            55 MPH    0513 AM 01/17   1284                 
 
 ...San Luis Obispo County Mountains...
 Branch Mtn RAWS              53 MPH    0135 AM 01/17   3770                 
 Carrizo RAWS                 49 MPH    0900 PM 01/16   2490                 
 McNeil Spring                36 MPH    1230 AM 01/17   984                  
 
 ...San Luis Obispo County Interior Valleys...
 Cholame                      52 MPH    0220 AM 01/17   2035                 
 5 ENE Santa Margarita        52 MPH    1250 AM 01/17   1645                 
 El Monte Rd                  51 MPH    1110 PM 01/16   1910                 
 South El Pomar Rd            46 MPH    0200 AM 01/17   1311                 
 Lake Nacimiento-Interlake Rd 46 MPH    1110 PM 01/16   1372                 
 Misty Canyon                 45 MPH    1200 AM 01/17   1410                 
 South Atascadero             43 MPH    1254 AM 01/17   997                  
 Paso Robles Apt              37 MPH    0802 PM 01/16   810                  
 La Panza                     36 MPH    1254 AM 01/17   1633                 
 
 ...San Luis Obispo County Central Coast...
 Cuesta Ridge-TV Towers       69 MPH    1250 AM 01/17   3579                 
 Camino Del Capitan           62 MPH    1120 PM 01/16   1842                 
 Avila Beach, Cal Poly Pier   45 MPH    1152 PM 01/16   0                    
 Port San Luis Nos            44 MPH    1236 AM 01/17   523                  
 Toro Creek                   42 MPH    0200 AM 01/17   1203                 
 Chorro-Cheda Ranch           42 MPH    0114 AM 01/17   380                  
 San Luis Obispo Coast        41 MPH    1133 PM 01/16   228                  
 Highland                     41 MPH    1250 AM 01/17   820                  
 San Luis Obispo Apt.         41 MPH    1243 AM 01/17   194                  
 Lake Lopez Marina            40 MPH    0253 AM 01/17   20                   
 
 ...Los Angeles County Mountains excluding the Santa Monica Range...
 Sierra Pelona                68 MPH    0110 AM 01/17   5182                 
 Grass Mountain               62 MPH    1059 PM 01/16   4626                 
 Mill Creek                   53 MPH    0653 AM 01/17   5021                 
 Sandberg                     52 MPH    1126 PM 01/16   4510                 
 Oat Mountain                 49 MPH    0330 AM 01/17   3450                 
 Chilao RAWS                  47 MPH    0653 AM 01/17   5450                 
 Hiatt Canyon                 46 MPH    0400 AM 01/17   3004                 
 Camp Nine                    45 MPH    0455 AM 01/17   4000                 
 Beartrap Canyon              39 MPH    0900 AM 01/17   3508                 
 Whitaker Peak                38 MPH    0357 AM 01/17   4120                 
 Acton                        36 MPH    0454 AM 01/17   2600                 
 Clear Creek                  36 MPH    0754 PM 01/16   3000                 
 
 ...Los Angeles County Coast including Downtown Los Angeles...
 Point Vicente                39 MPH    1149 PM 01/16   0                    
 
 ...Catalina and Santa Barbara Islands...
 Catalina RAWS                41 MPH    1122 AM 01/17   1407                 
 Catalina Apt.                37 MPH    0925 AM 01/17   1602                 
 
 ...Antelope Valley...
 Lake Palmdale                56 MPH    0155 AM 01/17   2980                 
 Leona Valley                 55 MPH    0100 AM 01/17   3720                 
 Elizabeth Lake               44 MPH    1136 PM 01/16   3445                 
 Leona Valley (95th St W)     38 MPH    1245 AM 01/17   3600                 
 Palmdale Apt.                37 MPH    0246 AM 01/17   2543                 
 Poppy Park                   36 MPH    0156 AM 01/17   2759                                   
 
 Observations are collected from a variety of sources with varying
 equipment and exposures. We thank all volunteer weather observers 
 for their dedication. Not all data listed are considered official.
 
 $$
 Stewart

PG&E said 280 000 customers lost power at some point since Wednesday and 26 432 customers remained without power Thursday afternoon, January 17. 15 000 were still without power early Friday morning.

At least 6 people were killed this week, including 4 who died on rain-slickened roads in Northern California and one homeless man who died in Oakland after a branch of a falling tree hit him, the Associated Press reports.

The storm has also put a dent in California's severe drought situation, leaving only 6% of it in severe or extreme drought, compared to 25% in September 2018.

Read more

Major winter storm to impact the Central and Eastern U.S. through this weekend

Featured image credit: Caltrans District 7

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