Atmospheric rivers, Bomb cyclone, California Drought, California State Water Project, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, U.S. Drought Monitor Map January 31/2023, Winter flooding in California January 2023
In the midst of our Christmas Day preparations, local meteorologists warned that a severe winter storm brewing over the Pacific Ocean was headed towards the U.S. West Coast. They described it as a densely saturated atmospheric river. Thanks to advanced technological methods for studying our atmosphere, we now know that the atmosphere can hold an entire river of water vapor. These rivers in the sky are about 250 to 375 miles wide and can be more than 1,000 miles long. That is an awful lot of water vapor. Californians living in high-risk zones for flooding and mudslides were put on high alert.
After seven months of mandated water rationing, due to California’s three-year drought conditions, I was elated about the news. My water-deprived plants would be happy. But the Sky God can be merciless or overzealous when answering our prayers for rain. Beginning on December 27, 2022, California was hit by wave after wave of intense storms that dumped more water than our outdated water infrastructure could handle. In the first week of the New Year, I braced myself for what the meteorologists described as a “bomb cyclone,” as shown in the captioned photo, captured by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).Continue reading