Mon. Aug 19th, 2019

A Powerful “Atmospheric river” drenched the Bay Area in California

Major wind gust, heavy rainfall triggered the mudslide, toppled the trees and power line causing a power outage in many areas. It was nasty!

Atmospheric rivers are particularly heavy intensity moisture storms that originate from large water body especially oceans and seas. They can be 250 miles wide and 1000 miles long and carry 20 times more water per second as much Mississippi river where it empties into the Gulf of Mexico. This type of water laden storms is vital for California and many other western states in terms of annual water supply, providing 25-50% annual water supply in many areas. Similar atmospheric river drenched the Bay area in California on Wednesday 16, 2019. Wind gusts toppled the trees and power lines, heavy rain triggered the mudslides and badly disturbed the traffic in Santa Cruze Mountain area. More than 25000 Pacific Gas and Electric consumers faced power outage on Wednesday evening, rough weather canceled the ferries on San Francisco Bay and mudslide on highway_17 shutdown southbound traffic in Santa Cruze Mountain. It was loss everywhere for the people.

Forecasters expected an inch or two rainfall in Bay area and up to six inches in North Bay and Santa Cruze Mountain. But according to Meteorologists Wednesday’s storms seems to be this winter season’s most powerful storm. Strome blanketed the Sierra Nevada and 5 feet snow was forecasted overnight in the mountain area. National weather services warned life-threatening conditions at 7000 feet elevations with wind speed exceeding 110 mph. People were advised to stay at home after Wednesday afternoon. The weather forecasters issued warning from Wednesday afternoon to Thursday morning around  60 mph wind gust in coastal areas and at a higher elevation and 50 mph wind gusts were also expected in lower elevated areas. Furthermore, a strong cold front was also predicted by satellite, along with the front line a rope cloud of 600 miles was observed across the Pacific ocean. Weather forecasters issued a flash flood advisory for streams and creeks from Big Sur to North Bay during Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning. However, major rivers were not expected to flood according to the weather forecast.

Heavy rainfall was observed on Wednesday 16 January 2019. San Jose received 0.37 inches while San Francisco received 0.99 inches rainfall in 24 hours by the 5 pm on 16 January 2019. In North Bay the little town of Venado west of Healdsburg received 4.84 inches rainfall by 5 pm, rest of Bay area Santa Rosa reported 1.94 inches, Napa 0.97, Concord 0.54, Oakland 0.73, Santa Cruze 0.39 and Boulder Creek 3.75 inches. On mountain area Mt. Umunhun received 3.31, Mt. Diablo 2.1 and Mt. Tamalpais 2.05 inches rainfall. So, it was considered as one of the heaviest rainfalls in the history of California. When such a natural thing happens, chances are there for some loss as well. We can’t blame someone for that too. May God keep us all safe in such a situation!

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