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Atmospheric Rivers Cause $1 Billion In Damage A Year, Study Shows, And Are Getting Worse

As back-to-back atmospheric rivers have made umbrellas a necessity across the state — and with more rain on the way in California this weekend — a new study reveals the connection between the weather phenomenon and the economic effects of localized flooding.

Atmospheric rivers, the storms that carry moisture from the tropics to the mid-latitude regions, have long been linked to the ecological impacts they have on a region. But when the storm passes, what’s left in its wake?

Cross-Border Commitment To Combat Sewage Crisis

California Governor Gavin Newsom and his counterpart from Baja California Norte, Jaime Bonilla, on Wednesday pledged to work as partners in combating toxic sewage flows from Tijuana into the South Bay as the cross-border crisis continues to threaten the health of thousands of San Diego County residents.

The persistent flow of toxic sewage from Mexico into the South Bay is one the most pressing problems facing both Baja California Norte and the state of California.

Opinion: On Water, California And Feds Need To Work Together For The Benefit Of Fish, Farmers And 27 Million People

We face an important opportunity to finally put the seemingly permanent conflicts that have defined water and environmental management in California behind us, but not if we let it drift away.

This new era of opportunity springs from a common recognition that our ways of doing business have failed to meet the needs of all interests. 

We have a choice: continue to live the never- ending “Groundhog Day” of conflict, apocalyptic rhetoric and litigation, or embrace the opportunities to meaningfully improve the way we make decisions and get things done for the good of all.

California Storm Parade Continues Friday With More Rain, Feet of Sierra Snow Through The Weekend

Another Pacific storm will surge into California Friday and last into the weekend wringing out feet of Sierra snow and more rain that could trigger additional flooding and debris flows.

Satellite imagery clearly shows the next system waiting in the wings to soak the Golden State beginning Friday.

Wednesday’s storm dumped about an inch of rain in downtown L.A. and San Diego, with locally higher amounts over the mountains.

Securing SoCal Water to Benefit NorCal Salmon

Life is perilous for juvenile chinook salmon just starting their journey to the ocean: predatory striped bass lurk in gin-clear pools; low streamflows limit access to the shrimplike amphipods they feed on; downstream sloughs halt at dead ends. As young fish navigate from spawning grounds in California’s Feather River to the Pacific, climate change is further reducing the water available for their celebrated runs. Of the salmon populations struggling to survive along the Pacific Northwest, scientists worry California chinook may be the first to blink out.

Update: Tahoe Ski Resorts Open More Lifts, Terrain Before Next Snow Dump

Early-season snow is prompting 18 of the 21 major ski areas around Tahoe and the high Sierra to open by this weekend.

On Wednesday, snow was falling lightly on the ridges surrounding the Tahoe Basin, and a storm due to arrive this weekend will allow ski areas across the board to open more chairlifts, ski runs and terrain and position themselves for the blitz that comes with the Christmas-New Year’s holidays.

California Must Act Now To Prepare For Sea Level Rise, State Lawmakers Say

The camera zooms in on the majestic sandy bluffs that make this stretch of the San Diego County coast so iconic: a close-up, everyone realizes, of that cliff crumbling in real time — ancient sand and soft, somewhat cemented rocks tumbling onto the beach below.

Moments later, a popular commuter rail rumbles by. Some in the room gasped. Lawmakers watched in sober silence.

“This is a natural phenomenon; it’s feeding the beaches, but it’s happening more and more frequently in part because of sea level rise,” said Merrifield, director of Scripps’ Center for Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation. “So what can do? That’s why we’re here, right?”

As Climate Change Worsens, A Cascade Of Tipping Points Looms

Some of the most alarming science surrounding climate change is the discovery that it may not happen incrementally — as a steadily rising line on a graph — but in a series of lurches as various “tipping points” are passed. And now comes a new concern: These tipping points can form a cascade, with each one triggering others, creating an irreversible shift to a hotter world. A new study suggests that changes to ocean circulation could be the driver of such a cascade.

Reclamation Seeks to Restore Sinking California Canal

Federal authorities are considering a plan to repair a California canal in the San Joaquin Valley that lost half its capacity to move water because of sinking ground.

Use of groundwater has caused land subsidence, affecting a 33-mile section of the Friant-Kern Canal, which supplies water to 1 million acres of farmland and more than 250,000 residents. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Dec. 3 published an environmental assessment detailing plans to repair, raise, and realign the canal, which it began building in 1949.

Levee Break Shuts Down California Highway, Strands Students Overnight At School

A broken levee shut down U.S. Highway 101 in Northern California on Wednesday and forced about 30 students and teachers to spend the night in their school’s gym.

Meanwhile, a nursing home in a neighboring county evacuated its residents because of flooding.

The levee near the school in Chualar was partially breached about 2 p.m., KSBW reported. The rain came as an atmospheric river storm drenched the state.