By Taylor Rice
This winter season, California has been experiencing an atmospheric river event for the ages. After being hit wave after wave, the 12th atmospheric river of the season rolled in on March 20, 2023; with it the storm brought hurricanes for winds and high levels of rainfall targeting central and southern California.
California has been experiencing this extreme weather for the entire winter season. An atmospheric river can be described as storms comparable to rivers that dump massive amounts of water from the sky. California has been suffering the consequences of these high water levels.
California has been experiencing extreme flooding. 30 million people across the state were under flood alerts. People have been evacuated from areas and many have lost their homes. Strong winds have knocked down trees and power lines; overall, just making a huge mess. And the onslaught is going to continue.
The Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management told CNN, “The forthcoming rainstorms cause concerns of localized flooding impacts to already damaged infrastructure and increased potential for debris flows and mudslides.”
On March 14 over 360,000 residences and businesses were without electricity. That same Tuesday morning more than 70,000 people were under evacuation warning and 17,000 were under orders to evacuate. A multitude of people have been displaced from their homes, with more than 600 California Residents taking refuge in 32 shelters across 13 counties.
However, not all the consequences of the freak storms have been negative.
The intense rainfall and snow packs have put a reasonable dent in California’s drought, filling numerous reservoirs that were quite low below average heading into 2023. California could also experience a Super Bloom due to the record breaking winter rainfall.
A Super Bloom is a rare sight. While California is known for having wild flower blooms every year, Super Blooms only occur when a high concentrated amount of flower seeds, that have been dormant in California deserts for a few years due to lack of rain, bloom after an unexpectedly bountiful rainy season. The conditions for Super Blooms are finicky and delicate, but due to the drought-stricken state of California and the ongoing mass rain showers, conditions have been met. There is a high chance that California could experience a Super Bloom this year.
California is still being ravaged by storms. It’s being tormented by rain fall and hit with snow storms. It’s only predicted to continue. The residents of our golden state will have gear up. Put on your raincoats and lace up your boots, residents will have to continue to push through this intense weather.