California is expected to receive more rainfall by Friday from an atmospheric river storm than what Lake Mead in Nevada—the largest reservoir in the U.S.—can hold, meteorologists have said, as the state continues to face the threat of flooding.
Torrential rainfall in Ventura County, a swath of coastal California just north of Los Angeles, triggered evacuations, flooded streets and homes and brought intense rainfall rates — nearly an inch of rain in five minutes at one location, officials said. Portions of streets in Oxnard were under water due to the severe, heavy rains spawned by a low-pressure system that soaked the Golden State.
A flood watch will be in effect for all of San Diego County from Thursday evening through Friday evening as a slow-moving storm travels through Southern California.
The National Weather Service said rainfall over the next two days is expected to total .75 to 1.5 inches for the coast and valleys, 1 to 2 inches for the mountains, and up to an inch in the deserts.
California was deluged with storms and floods at the beginning of 2023, bringing home the severity of impacts from climate change, particularly in the low-income communities of Planada in Merced County and Pajaro in Monterey County.
With a potentially drenching storm system making its way to the area, San Diego officials said Tuesday the city is preparing for rainfall over the next several days and providing tips for area residents to minimize the effects of flooding.
As forecasts tease California with rainstorms this week, the state’s reservoirs are already flush with water.
It’s a big departure from a year ago: The state’s major reservoirs — which store water collected mostly from rivers in the northern portion of the state — are in good shape, with levels at 124% of average.
About seven miles from the Sacramento International Airport, crews are putting the finishing touches on a project meant to provide massive flood relief to a wide swath of the Sacramento region during intense storms.
Increased rainfall, with a growing chance for heavy precipitation over Christmas, is expected across much of California, beginning next week and lasting through the rest of December.
The Biden administration has announced new water-saving agreements with California water agencies intended to shore up supplies on the overburdened Colorado River.
When the highest stakes water negotiations in a century opened this fall, the largest, most powerful state — California — was represented by the youngest person at the table, a 27-year-old named John Brooks Hamby, who graduated from college barely four years ago.