Southern California is facing another powerful atmospheric river, the second in less than a week, causing flooding, power outages, and the threat of mudslides. The storm has already dumped up to 23 centimeters of rain in the Los Angeles area, with more expected. The U.S. National Weather Service has issued flash-flood warnings for 1.4 million people in the region, describing the situation as particularly dangerous.
The storm has also impacted Northern California, where it brought down trees and electrical lines, causing power outages. Emergency crews in San Jose rescued people from a car stranded by floodwaters and a homeless encampment near a rising river. Evacuation orders have been issued for canyons that were previously affected by wildfires and are now at a high risk of mud and debris flows.
Schools across Santa Barbara County have cancelled classes, and strong winds and heavy rain have caused treacherous conditions in the city of Ventura. More than 543,000 customers across the state are without electricity, and a ski resort near San Francisco is expecting heavy snowfall.
Atmospheric rivers are relatively narrow plumes of moisture that form over the ocean and can produce heavy rain when they move over land. This storm, also known as a "Pineapple Express" due to its moisture plume stretching back to near Hawaii, arrived offshore in Northern California on Saturday.
Evacuation orders and warnings are in effect for mountain and canyon areas in several counties, and Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency for eight counties. The Los Angeles Unified School District has announced that most schools will be open, except for two.
The storm is expected to continue throughout the day, with heavy rain forecasted until Tuesday. This ongoing weather event poses significant challenges to residents, emergency services, and infrastructure in Southern California.