Heavy rain and mountain snow have again impacted California, resulting in water rescues, enormous numbers of damaged trees, and power outages in the Bay Area.
Rainfall on top of moist soil leads to flash floods and landslides. Weakly rooted trees in the wet soil are being blown over by the high winds, interrupting electricity and causing damage to vehicles and buildings.
More than 250,000 residents in the San Francisco city area were without power as of Tuesday night.
The National Weather Service Bay Area said Tuesday night that high winds of 50–55 mph, with local gusts up to 65 mph, were still being felt across the East Bay as the center of the strong surface low moved towards the Golden Gate Bridge.
The Central Coast and Los Angeles areas experienced the strongest winds. The maximum recorded gust was 118 miles per hour in Hopper Canyon, just outside San Bernardino. Even higher mountains like San Guillermo and Magic had gusts above 100 mph (105 and 102 mph, respectively).
Meanwhile, winds topped 89 mph at Loma Prieta, some 20 miles south of San Jose, almost approaching the peak gust of 97 mph recorded in the region during the previous week’s storms. In the San Diego area, Boucher Hill recorded the strongest winds at 65 miles per hour, followed by Harrison Park at 60 miles per hour.
The continuous rain will eventually ease off from the north to the south, slowly giving way to showers and thunderstorms that will last through Wednesday. Intense precipitation in a short amount of time, such as rain or snow, may cause flash floods, and this can be followed by higher winds that do further damage.
Heavy snowfall has covered Sequoia and Kings Canyon Parks in the previous two weeks. Yet, the snow depth is still overshadowed by the giant sequoia trees native to the Sierra Nevada. These parks are located over 6,000 feet in the southern Sierra Nevada and are experiencing yet another significant snowfall.
A park tweet says they’ve spent the last several days getting ready for the storm. They’re hoping their hard work will be enough to lessen the storm’s impact and prevent more destruction. People in mountainous areas have started using sandbags in addition to cleaning up after the last rain to avoid floods from snowmelt.
Storms continue to hit California, bringing heavy rain and snow and damaging gusts that have already blown down trees in the Bay Area. Heavy afternoon rains in Tulare County, close to Fresno, caused flooding along the Tule River, leaving several vehicles stranded.
California is bracing for another round of substantial precipitation this week following a weaker storm over the previous weekend. The state experienced a break from the stormy weather, but rain and heavy snowfall returned between Saturday and Sunday, particularly in the Sierra Nevada region. Despite the heavy precipitation, this storm was not categorized as an atmospheric river, unlike previous weather events.
In Santa Rosa, a city located approximately 55 miles north of San Francisco, the storm contributed to an impressive rainfall for March. The city has received 9.34 inches of rain as of Monday, more than triple its historical average for this month.
Typically, by this point in March, Santa Rosa only receives slightly under three inches of rainfall. Moreover, the storm on Sunday resulted in new evacuation orders for Alpaugh and Allensworth, two central California towns, due to concerns about residents becoming stranded due to impassable roadways.
Powerful winds caused flight delays at San Francisco International Airport on Tuesday. By noon local time, approximately 220 flights at the airport were delayed due to the storm, according to FlightAware.
Weather hazards are causing travel disruptions in California, including in Los Angeles. On Tuesday morning, a mudslide and flooding in the Elysian Park area of the city forced the closure of the right lane of the southbound Interstate 5 connector to State Route 110.
While the state of California has suffered significant damage caused by the storm, the government is taking all possible measures to recover damage caused to many areas’ infrastructures.