Home > Uncategorized > California Is About To Get Pummeled With Rivers Of Rain (Like, Not Since 1861)

California Is About To Get Pummeled With Rivers Of Rain (Like, Not Since 1861)

Mark Fischetti, Scientific American

 

November 30, 2012

 

An atmospheric river (thin yellow band) feeds torrential rain into northern California on Nov. 30.

 

Northern California is experiencing the first days of what weather forecasters are warning will be a long series of torrential rainstorms that could cause serious flooding across the northern one-third of the state.

 

rprprprp

rprprprp (Photo credit: GunnyG1345)

 

The relentless storms are being driven by a feature in the atmosphere you have probably never heard of: an atmospheric river.

 

 

Oh, and another atmospheric river created the worst flooding since the 1960s in western England and Wales this past week, where more than 1,000 homes had to be evacuated.

 

An atmospheric river is a narrow conveyor belt of vapor about a mile high that extends thousands of miles from out at sea and can carry as much water as 15 Mississippi Rivers.

 

It strikes as a series of storms that arrive for days or weeks on end. Each storm can dump inches of rain or feet of snow. For more details, see this feature story that Scientific American has just published, written by two experts on these storms.

 

GyGRet

GyGRet (Photo credit: GunnyG1345)

 

Scientists discovered atmospheric rivers in 1998 and have only recently characterized them fully enough to allow forecasters to warn of their arrival.

 

They can strike the west coasts of most continents, but California seems to be a prime target. As many as nine small atmospheric rivers reach the state each year, each lasting two to three days, including the famous “pineapple express” storms that come straight from the Hawaii region of the Pacific Ocean.

 

This story was originally published by Scientific American. Reprinted with permission.

 

(Excerpt) Read more at businessinsider.com …

 

via California Is About To Get Pummeled With Rivers Of Rain (Like, Not Since 1861).

 

 

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,197 other followers