Wednesday, May 31, 2023

California Braces for a Strong Storm Forecasted to Hit Today

The Golden State hasn’t been so golden in the past few weeks. Unexpected winter weather conditions hit different parts of California since February. The state known for its sunshine and palm trees has been in the news because of snow storms that hadn’t happened since the 1980s. And now the whole state is preparing for another forecasted strong storm. 

It seems all the snow that buried California is starting to melt, and a storm bringing strong winds and rain is an extreme hazard to all that melting snow. But that is what the whole state is preparing for right now. 

The storm is forecasted to hit in northern and central regions of California, extending to Nevada, around late morning today. The forecast says the storm will bring,

  • Up to 8 inches of heavy rain in the Santa Cruz Mountains. It will also affect the urban San Francisco bay area and all the places in between. 
  • 55 mph wind gusts across the whole northern and central area of California. The winds are also going to reach Nevada and possibly Idaho. 
  • Snow. It seems the snow hasn’t been all dumped yet and the clouds the storm brings might still cause snowfall. 

These hazards of the storm have prompted officials to tell their constituents to prepare for a couple of days indoors. People were encouraged to stock up on supplies like food, water, and even emergency batteries. 

The strong winds paired with rain and snow are expected to bring down electric posts, so there might be blackouts in areas the storm will pass by. The power outages might affect the estimated 15 million people living in northern and central California. 

But the main concern of officials and weather experts is the potential flooding that might happen because of the overflow of rivers and creeks from the heavy rainfall. 

A few days before the storm was forecasted to hit, locals started fortifying the creeks around urban areas to lessen potential floods. Business owners were also encouraged to stock up on their goods, secure their businesses, and let their employees go home earlier just to be safe. 

Government officials have reiterated that the residents should have at least two weeks’ worth of food and water, emergency power, and first-aid kits in their homes. They are also prepared to respond the best they can when the storm is full-blown and when it is over. 

The Weather Prediction Center summed up the hazards of the coming storm, “the uncertainty lies in how much rainfall will be absorbed by the snowpack before there is [a] significant release of that water into the rivers,”

“It’s likely some of the (precipitation) will simply be absorbed into the many feet of snow at the highest elevations, but lower elevations, generally below 5,000 ft, appear most likely to not have the snowpack necessary to absorb the multiple inches of rainfall expected.”

The storm is expected to hit northern and central California today, but emergency warming centers have been prepared in case the power outages last more than anticipated.