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California floods continue to cause destruction with more rain expected

The last several days have spelled trouble for much of the northern half of the state of California as continuous heavy showers and storms have moved throughout the region. There is up to three possible weather related deaths currently, but this streak of continuous rainfall looks to continue deep into next week.

There have been non-stop reports of widespread flooding and flash flooding which has lead to the state declaring a state of emergency.

The reasoning behind such abnormal levels of rainfall derives from multiple atmospheric rivers carrying moisture to the west coast. An atmospheric river is a narrow band of heavy moisture transported by the lower level jet stream. This occurs as warm moist air from Hawaii has been pushed back towards California in a phenomenon called " The Pineapple Express." Typically these bands of increased moisture happen every once in a while, but with multiple low pressure systems lining up off the west coast, multiple have been able to form taking place from each of the previous.

The heaviest bands of showers and storms have not occurred yet prompting more worries from members of the National Weather Service heading into next week.

A substantial low pressure system will unload much more rain beginning Monday that is expected to last into Wednesday.

In the next seven days, widespread rainfall totals are expected to climb to an additional 6" with some areas seeing up to 10" total.

Although much of the state is still experiencing near record breaking drought conditions, these impressive showers are not expected to lift these drought conditions. The worries with increased rainfall now expands to worries of increased mudslides with the ground becoming overly saturated in the upper levels.

Article Topic Follows: Weather
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Chance Gotsch

Chance Gotsch grew up just south of St. Louis and moved to Columbia to attend the University of Missouri to pursue a degree in Atmospheric Sciences.

His interest in weather begin as a child when he used to be afraid of storms. Years later, he purchased a weather forecasting book and weather station at his elementary Scholastic Book Fair. After reading into the hows and whys of atmospheric science, he quickly became interested and gained his new passion.

Chance joined the ABC17 Stormtrack Weather Team in February of 2021. He is currently the weekday Noon Meteorologist.


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