Two people killed in greater Seattle; heavy rain and snow pound all major cities of California, Washington and Oregon, recently plagued with wildfires
The United States Pacific Northwest, consisting of the states of Washington, Oregon and California, has been deluged with rain and snow as a ‘bomb cyclone’ took effect and unleashed a storm October 24, 2021.
The USA Today daily reported that over 160,000 homes and businesses in California, more than 170,000 in Washington and over 28,000 in Oregon had been left without power October 24 due to the extreme weather.
A strong storm off the Pacific Northwest will continue directing a stream of heavy rain, high elevation snow and gusty to high winds over much of central and northern California, the Sierra Nevadas and the Great Basin Monday. pic.twitter.com/LWe9cwIpwv— National Weather Service (@NWS) October 25, 2021
USA Today further reported that the storm had been most severe in the northern and central portions of California and parts of southern Oregon. Two people were killed when a tree fell on a vehicle in the greater Seattle area.
A strong storm is moving into Central California, bringing with it heavy downpours in the San Joaquin Valley and snow in the Sierra Nevada. https://t.co/4aAT8HNmio— ABC30 Fresno (@ABC30) October 25, 2021
Almost all the big cities of the US west coast including Seattle, those in the San Francisco Bay Area, including San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland and San Rafael as well as the capital of California, Sacramento, received heavy rain. In fact, Sacramento was well on its way to breaking a precipitation record.
If Sacramento breaks its all-time single-day precipitation record by midnight (which looks quite possible) immediately after breaking its record for longest consecutive dry streak just a week ago, that'll be, ah, quite something. #PrecipitationWhiplash #CAwx #CAwater https://t.co/JxO60avKR9— Daniel Swain (@Weather_West) October 25, 2021
USA Today quoted Jon Porter, a meteorologist, as saying that a bomb cyclone forms when air pressure rapidly drops as the storm explosively strengthens. The bomb cyclone has been pulling deep tropical moisture from the Pacific, creating an “atmospheric river”, according to Porter.
He described the river as a “firehose of moisture in the sky” capable of unleashing intense rain and mountain snow.
Spectacular Geocolor satellite imagery of the spiraling storm off the Washington coast and associated #AtmosphericRiver impacting the West. #IDwx #ORwx #BombCyclone pic.twitter.com/5YrqXvjDqL— NWS Boise (@NWSBoise) October 24, 2021
American climate scientist Daniel Swain expressed amazement at the bomb cyclone as seen in satellite photographs.
Truly amazing satellite imagery of the powerful storm (technically a "bomb cyclone," as some have noted, due to its very rapid strengthening) affecting nearly the entire West Coast Sunday afternoon. What an incredible specimen of a textbook mid-latitude cyclone! #CAwx #ORwx #WAwx pic.twitter.com/7xgIcxfRaZ— Daniel Swain (@Weather_West) October 24, 2021
California and the Pacific Northwest of North America are witnessing the rain after having been through a brutal heatwave this summer.
It is worth noting that this exact situation--an extremely strong atmospheric river bringing brief period of record rainfall in midst of severe and temperature-amplified drought--is what we expect to see in California with #ClimateChange. #CAwx #CAwater https://t.co/pKO7f0Pnhw— Daniel Swain (@Weather_West) October 25, 2021
The rain and snow are expected to extinguish the various wildfires that have been burning in California since the summer. These include the Caldor fire that started August 14 in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, east of Sacramento and had burned 221,775 acres till October 24. The fire has now been contained, according to reports.
However, the fires created another problem in the lead-up to the bomb cyclone. They had stripped a large part of the landscape of foliage, stripping the ground naked. Experts had predicted that such burnt areas would be more prone to mudlsides.
Several parts of California, including the Santa Cruz mountains and parts of western Santa Barbara county, had instated evacuation orders because of their proximity to burnt areas.
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