Southern California Braces for More Heavy Rain After Record-breaking Downpour


Southern California may have recently experienced a record amount of rain, but the region is expecting more severe precipitation.

The National Weather Service said that San Diego received more than a month’s worth of rain in three hours on Monday. On Monday, the city received 2.73 inches of rain, making it the wettest January day on record and the wettest day in over 100 years. San Diego typically receives an average of 1.98 inches of rain in January, according to data dating back to 1850.

The Southern California coast has been drenched with rain this week, with some areas receiving up to 9 inches over the weekend and into Monday. This unprecedented downpour resulted in dozens of rescues around San Diego County.

While the area received a much-needed relief on Tuesday, predictions indicate that repeated bouts of heavy rain will hit these same areas in California and other parts of the West beginning later next week and extending into early February.

Southern California is forecast to have dry weather until at least the weekend, but heavy rain is now targeting the northern portion of the West Coast, with rain falling from Northern California to Portland and Seattle on Wednesday afternoon. Another bout of heavy rain is anticipated in the Pacific Northwest by Friday night and into the weekend.

Following this storm system, much of the West will get a little respite. However, the damp winter weather will not end altogether.

An active weather pattern is expected to form throughout the West again in early February, bringing the possibility of numerous heavy rain events during the opening week of the month.

The present El Niño event is linked to the recent severe rainfall occurrence in San Diego and the forecasted heavy rain in southern California.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, this causes wetter-than-average weather over most of the Southern United States, including a huge portion of California, during the winter months. El Niño weather patterns are characterized by heavy rain and unsettled conditions.

Experts warn that human-caused climate change, along with El Niño, may contribute to future catastrophic rainfall occurrences as global warming worsens.

Many of the next heavy rain events around the West Coast will most likely be powered by atmospheric rivers. Atmospheric rivers, or rivers in the sky that gather moisture from tropical places and transport it to other latitudes, are a natural component of the global weather system. However, climate change is predicted to have an influence on the intensity and frequency of atmospheric rivers in the future, as global warming causes more moisture to evaporate into the atmosphere, according to a recent NOAA study.

According to the findings, models under higher temperature scenarios expected more precipitation at lower elevations but less at higher elevations.

And it is not limited to atmospheric rivers. According to studies, climate change can increase the frequency and intensity of severe rainfall occurrences.

Stronger extreme rain events enhance the frequency and intensity of flash floods because the rush of water exceeds the capacity of the present infrastructure, according to experts.

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