Urgent Weather Warning Issued as Landslides Threaten California City

0
11

Weather warnings are in place for nearly all of California as a dangerous atmospheric river pummels the state, and a National Weather Service (NWS) office issued an urgent alert for life-threatening landslides in one city.

The storm follows a similar system that brought a deluge of rain to California on Thursday. On Sunday, the second atmospheric river unleashed dangerous conditions across the state, prompting the NWS office in Los Angeles to issue an urgent weather message on Monday morning about a life-threatening situation in Hollywood Hills, near the Santa Monica Mountains.

Atmospheric rivers are defined as a “long, narrow region in the atmosphere—like rivers in the sky—that transport most of the water vapor outside of the tropics,” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. More than a dozen atmospheric rivers battered the state last year, largely eliminating drought but creating severe problems such as flooding and mudslides.

A home sits on the edge of a cliff on January 13, 2017, in the Hollywood Hills after its concrete patio was washed away in a mudslide caused by heavy rains in Hollywood, California. On…


Getty

“EXTREMELY DANGEROUS SITUATION UNFOLDING IN THE HOLLYWOOD HILLS AREA AND AROUND THE SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS,” the NWS Los Angeles office posted on X (formerly Twitter). “Life threatening landslides and additional flash flooding expected overnight tonight. Avoid travel if at all possible.”

Newsweek reached out to NWS Los Angeles by phone for comment.

Extreme rain has soaked the region, with meteorologist and storm chaser Reed Timmer posted a map of the 12-hour rainfall totals in the Santa Monica Mountains on X. The map showed that the region has already received 10 inches of rain, with more on the way.

As of almost midnight local time on Sunday, Los Angeles had received 3.89 inches of rain, blowing past the previous daily rainfall record for February 4 by more than an inch. The previous record was 2.55 inches in 1927.

“Is also the 3rd wettest Feb day and 12th wettest day for any time of year since records began in 1877,” NWS Los Angeles said on X.

Heavy snowfall and very strong winds accompanied the storm, bringing up to 4 feet of snow to the northern Ventura County Mountains and 5 feet of snow to the eastern San Gabriel Mountains. The NWS office in Los Angeles warned of winds strong enough to cause extensive tree damage.

More than 500,000 people are without power in California as the storm rages on, according to a power outage map. The number of those without power neared 1 million overnight on Sunday, according to social media account @rawsalerts. The storm grew so severe that Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

Mudslides have accompanied the floods and winds, and a video on the X account @weathernation showed debris from a mudslide strewn alongside a road in Los Angeles.

“The relentless rain in Los Angeles has led to serious issues like mudslides. Residents should be cautious and heed any evacuation orders to stay safe,” the account posted with the video.