After drought, US west coast slammed by 'bomb cyclone'

A pedestrian walks on a flooded street on October 24, 2021 in Kentfield, California
A pedestrian walks on a flooded street on October 24, 2021 in Kentfield, California.

Severe thunderstorms bringing record rainfall hit northern California on Monday, following several months of gigantic forest fires caused by drought.

The phenomenon, known as a "bomb cyclone," came from the Pacific Ocean and struck San Francisco and Oakland, as well as the states of Oregon and Washington, further north, on Sunday.

The rain caused multiple floods and mudslides, blocking roads, while winds of more than 60 miles (100 kilometers) per hour tore trees and roofs.

Two people were killed when a tree fell on their vehicle near Seattle.

Sacramento, the capital of California which didn't see any rainfall from March to September, saw an all-time record 5.44 inches (14 centimeters), according to a Monday update from the National Weather Service.

Heavy snowfall has also struck the Sierra Nevada mountain range as the weather front headed east.

The rain has been falling on the dry soils of the drought-stricken western United States, a situation exacerbated by the effects of climate change.

California has been affected for several years by increasingly numerous and destructive blazes, and with a marked lengthening of the fire season.

At the end of July, the area burned in the state was up 250 percent compared to 2020, which itself was already one of the worst years in terms of fires.

Workers try to divert water into drains in Marin City, California
Workers try to divert water into drains in Marin City, California.

Explore further

California firefighters chase new fires ignited by lightning

© 2021 AFP

Citation: After drought, US west coast slammed by 'bomb cyclone' (2021, October 25) retrieved 30 November 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2021-10-drought-west-coast-slammed-cyclone.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
29 shares

Feedback to editors