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Dangerous flooding and severe storms continue in California

Just under 200,000 residents remain without power in portions of California as of Tuesday afternoon due to the continuous showers and storms seen throughout the last several weeks. This past Monday night, severe storms rolled through the area bringing with it tornado warned storms.

Atmospheric rivers continue to form along approaching cold fronts nearly daily at this point indicated by the dark green bands depicted in the relative humidity map. These bands pick up high moisture contents from the tropics and transport the moisture in the lower jet stream back towards the west coast where they have been released as strong showers, or heavy bands of snow.

Even with some areas seeing over 12" of rain over the past week, California remains a historic extreme drought. Sadly these heavy downpours will not bring the area out of impressive drought conditions by themselves. Most of this excess rain that falls at this point will just act as runoff water and will be transport in rivers and lakes away from the ground. This means that the water table under the earth's surface will not properly fill to levels needed to come out of the current drought. Multiple years of above average rainfall will be the most likely case to clearing this long lasting drought.

In the next week, more rainfall is expected with many widespread areas of Northern California still seeing an additional 6" or more of rainfall. This means dangerous flooding conditions are likely to persist.

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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