Atmospheric river drenches California • Earth.com

Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features an atmospheric river that intensified over California on January 4, 2023.

“Downed power lines contributed to leaving over 170,000 homes without electricity as of the morning of January 5, according to PowerOutage.us. Most of the outages were seen in coastal counties such as Mendocino, Sonoma, and San Mateo,” says NASA.

“Atmospheric rivers are among the most damaging storm types in the middle latitudes, especially with regard to the hazardous wind they produce, according to research led by Duane Waliser at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.”

The National Weather Service reports that coastal areas of California experienced wind speeds of 40 to 80 miles per hour. Near Lake Tahoe, wind speeds exceeded 100 miles per hour.

“About 1 to 3 inches of rain fell on communities near Santa Cruz and San Francisco on the evening of January 4, but the storm continued to drop rain on the Bay Area as it moved east on January 5. Some areas south of Big Sur saw 6 to 8 inches of rain in 24 hours,” says NASA.

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

Check us out on EarthSnap, a free app brought to you by Eric Ralls and Earth.com.

News coming your way
The biggest news about our planet delivered to you each day