California goes from drought to flood in crazy year of weather
This time last year, California was enduring a historic three-year drought. It had set record lows in rainfall measurement in nearly every part of the state and was receiving nationwide attention for the drought throughout the summer of 2022, not only for the record numbers but as a lightning rod for climate change. Now, many of those same areas are inundated with water, and at least 20 fatalities have been reported across the state.
Perhaps the most daunting aspect of the weather has been its duration. California's governor proclaimed a state of emergency back on January 4, and more rainfall is expected at least through this Saturday, the 14th. The NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) has issued a full report on the situation as well as special flood hazards. Here is the portion of that report for Los Angeles County alone, which predicts at least 105,000 residents will be strongly affected by the end of the week.
"After three years of historic drought in California, a deluge of unrelenting rainfall and high wind has been inundating much of the state’s coastline, farmland and valleys," was the lead in the New York Times newsletter this morning. A series of atmospheric rivers bearing down on California over the past two weeks continued into Wednesday, bringing widespread flash flooding, river flooding, mudslides and staggeringly high mountain snowfall totals.
Montecito, a popular seaside town along the coast, and Planada, a small town in the Central Valley, are just some of the places that have been hit hardest and evacuated.