This past weekend, California was saturated by torrential downpours that caused widespread flooding. One of the numerous atmospheric river episodes that slammed the state this winter was what led to the excessive rainfall.
Since January, Californians have had rain and hundreds of inches of snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains. The majority of the flood damage in the United States is brought on by atmospheric rivers, which are long, slender bands of atmospheric moisture that originate in the tropics.
But as atmospheric rivers carry more moisture and precipitation due to climate change, the risk of flooding, landslides, runoff, and infrastructure damage to populations increases. During the weekend, storm-related deaths, a Pajaro River levee break, flash floods, evacuations, power outages, and other problems beset California.
In addition to lifting limitations on collecting stormwater, Governor Gavin Newsom has declared emergencies in more than 30 counties and signed an executive order on Friday. A disaster designation for 35 counties was also made by the Biden administration on Friday, and financing for California’s emergency response was promised.
Read More: Want an Electric Vehicle But Worried About Range? Novel Research that Analyzes the Ideal Car for Each Driver!
Californians are relocating to catch this winter’s flood of water, but torrential downpours and sodden landscapes won’t end the prolonged drought in the Western region. The compacted, parched soil from years of dry weather makes it more difficult for groundwater to be absorbed during rainstorms, which causes greater floods and less water storage in the landscape.
Read More: The EPA Proposes the “Strongest Ever” Standards to Prevent Coal Plant Pollution from Entering American Waterways.
Moreover, reservoir levels are at historic lows and need multiple wet winters to adequately replenish them. As a result of climate change brought on by the mining and burning of fossil fuels, the pattern of dry, hot drought spells followed by heavy rains is anticipated to become more common.