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Winter storm whipping northeast US with snow, thunderstorms

Winter storm whipping northeast US with snow, thunderstorms


A dangerous winter storm brought significant snowfall, strong thunderstorms and blustery winds to the northeastern U.S. on a holiday Monday.


The storm system dropped a foot (30 centimeters) or more of snow in parts of New York state, Ohio and Pennsylvania Sunday night through Monday morning after pummeling parts of the Southeast on Sunday.

“We’ve had a very strong area of low pressure that’s kind of moved up the coast, with pretty heavy snowfall accumulations from Tennessee, North Carolina all the way into the northeast,” said meteorologist Marc Chenard at the weather service’s headquarters in College Park, Maryland.

Forecasters in Buffalo, New York, said almost 18 inches (45 centimeters) of snow fell by 1 p.m. Monday. The city advised people not to travel if they didn’t need to on this Martin Luther King Jr. Day, while some surrounding towns instituted a travel ban.

“WOW! (Latest) snow measurement at 1 AM was 4.6 inches in the last hour at the Buffalo Airport!” the National Weather Service in Buffalo tweeted overnight. “And tack on another 4 inches in the last hour ending at 2 AM! Total so far since late Sun evening – 10.2 inches.”

WINTER STORM WHIPPING NORTHEAST US WITH SNOW, THUNDERSTORMS

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Snow, a four-year-old American Staffordshire Terrier runs through the snow with his companion, Marlin Rayney from Wilkinsburg in tow during his morning walk/run along Braddock Avenue Monday, Jan. 17, 2022, in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania. (Pam Panchak/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)

Weather service meteorologist Alexa Maines said 15 inches (38 centimeters) or more of snow were reported in Cleveland, Ohio, and 25 inches (63 centimeters) in parts of Ashtabula County in the northeast corner of the state.

Power outages affected tens of thousands of customers in the northeast, and hundreds of flights were canceled. Many COVID-19 vaccination and testing sites had to close down.

New York City got less than an inch of snow, which was washed away by rain overnight. The weather service said spotty showers and snow showers might continue through Monday night.

Forecasters said wind gusts in New York City could top out around 45 mph (72 kph), and around 60 mph (97 kph) on Long Island.

Sleet and rain were the main threats for much of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Periods of snowfall transitioned to rain overnight. NWS meteorologists in Boston said wind gusts could reach 70 mph (113 kph).

The howling winds spread a fire that destroyed a motel and two other structures in coastal Salisbury, Massachusetts, early Monday.


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CLIMATE CHANGE: EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS ARE ‘THE NEW NORM’


Extreme weather events – including powerful heat waves and devastating floods – are now the new normal, says the World Meteorological Organisation.

Lightning bolts descend from dark clouds in northern Alaska. Lightning tracker Vaisala reported a significant uptick in far-northern Arctic lightning in 2021.

ANOTHER SIGN THINGS ARE GETTING WEIRD: LIGHTNING AROUND THE NORTH POLE INCREASED DRAMATICALLY IN 2021


As extreme weather wreaked havoc across the globe in 2021, a stunning change was happening in the far northern Arctic, largely out of sight but detectable by a network of sensors. Lightning increased significantly in the region around the North Pole, which scientists say is a clear sign of how the climate crisis is altering global weather.


The storm brought similar conditions Sunday to the Southeast, where thousands were still without power Monday.

Multiple states reported heavy snowfall, and two people died Sunday in North Carolina when their car drove off the road. The roof of a dormitory partially collapsed in the state at Brevard College, with officials saying it broke under the weight of snow. There were no injuries.

Severe thunderstorms in Florida spun up a tornado with 118 mph (190 kph) winds, destroying 30 mobile homes and majorly damaging 51 more. Three minor injuries were reported.

Wet roadways in the South were expected to refreeze Monday, creating icy conditions for motorists.

Plow trucks were scattered along roads and highways up the East Coast, working to clear the way for travelers. Some crashes were reported in the early morning hours, including an ambulance involved in a wreck on Interstate 279 in Pittsburgh, KDKA-TV reported. It was unclear whether anyone was injured.

Source:

Julie Walker & Karen Matthews via Associated Press



Australia matches its hottest day on record as Western Australia town hits 50.7C

Australia matches its hottest day on record as Western Australia town hits 50.7C


Mercury in the remote town of Onslow registers 50.7C (123.3F) , while two other sites also reach extreme temperatures


Australia has matched its hottest ever reliably recorded temperature, with Onslow airport near the remote West Australian town of Onslow registering 50.7C (123.3F)

Prior to Thursday, the 50C-mark had only been crossed three times at a standardised monitoring site including consecutive days in early 1960. Onslow’s top was reached just before 2.30pm local time.

The 50.7C reading on 2 January 1960 had stood unmatched as Australia’s hottest temperature for 62 years, with the following day almost as scorching at 50.3C, according to Bureau of Meteorology data going back nationally to 1910.

On Thursday, Onslow was joined by at least two other WA sites in breaking 50C, with both Roebourne airport and Mardie hitting 50.5C. Mardie had been there once before, on 19 February 1998 – Australia’s only other 50C-plus day among the four.

The extreme temperatures came towards the end of a searing heatwave over north-western WA in recent days.

Stonkingly hot winds from Australia’s red centre had been building, in part as a result of the movement across northern Australia of tropical cyclone Tiffany.

Now an ex-tropical cyclone, Tiffany dumped huge amounts of rain over northern Queensland and the Northern Territory, and could end up steering heavy rainfall into central and eastern Australia in coming days.

A slew of other WA towns were likely to have set temperature records for January or any time of the year.

Iron-ore export hub Karratha, also on WA’s north-west coast, reached 48.4C (119.1F) to exceed its previous high of 48.2C.

Last year was the world’s fifth-hottest year on record, according to preliminary readings, and was likely the hottest recorded year with a La Niña event in the Pacific.

La Niña years are characterised by the tropical Pacific Ocean absorbing more heat than in a neutral year.


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CLIMATE CHANGE: EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS ARE ‘THE NEW NORM’


Extreme weather events – including powerful heat waves and devastating floods – are now the new normal, says the World Meteorological Organisation.

EXTREME HEAT EXPOSURE IN CITIES HAS TRIPLED IN JUST A FEW DECADES, SCIENTISTS WARN


Extreme urban heat exposure has dramatically increased since the early 1980s, with the total exposure tripling over the past 35 years.


The scorching heat was expected to somewhat ease in Roebourne and Karratha on Friday, but another 49C day was forecast further down the coast in Onslow.

Temperatures were also well into the 40s in parts of the Goldfields and Gascoyne regions, while Perth enjoyed a mild 26C day.

A severe weather warning had meanwhile been issued for people in parts of the far-north Kimberley region, including Kununurra and Wyndham.

The bureau said the ex-tropical cyclone had weakened to a deep tropical low that was set to move across the border from the Northern Territory, bringing heavy rainfall and possible flash flooding.

Damaging wind gusts up to 100km/h were anticipated from Thursday afternoon.

Source:

Peter Hannam at The Guardian



Another sign things are getting weird: Lightning around the North Pole increased dramatically in 2021

Another sign things are getting weird: Lightning around the North Pole increased dramatically in 2021


As extreme weather wreaked havoc across the globe in 2021, a stunning change was happening in the far northern Arctic, largely out of sight but detectable by a network of sensors. Lightning increased significantly in the region around the North Pole, which scientists say is a clear sign of how the climate crisis is altering global weather.


Vaisala, an environmental monitoring company that tracks lightning around the world, reported 7,278 lightning strokes occurred last year north of 80 degrees latitude, nearly twice as many as the previous nine years combined.Arctic lightning is rare — even more so at such far northern latitudes — and scientists use it as a key indicator of the climate crisis, since the phenomena signals warming temperatures in the predominantly frozen region. Lightning occurs in energetic storms associated with an unstable atmosphere, requiring relatively warm and moist air, which is why they primarily occur in tropical latitudes and elsewhere during summer months.

Arctic lightning on the rise

Lightning events north of 80 degrees latitude — which circles the North Pole — saw a steep increase in 2021 compared to previous years. Scientists use Arctic lightning as a key indicator of potential climate change impacts.

Source: Vaisala 2021 annual lightning report
Graphic: Kaeti Hinck, CNN

The annual number of lightning strokes in the Arctic — the region north of around 65 degrees latitude — has remained consistent over the past decade, but it is now surging significantly in the extreme north. Chris Vagasky, meteorologist and lightning applications manager at Vaisala, said a warming planet is charging up the Arctic’s environment for more lightning to occur.

“What we’ve been seeing is that lightning and thunderstorms are developing over Siberia, and then moving out over the Arctic Ocean and continuing very far north,” Vagasky told CNN, underscoring “the warm, humid air from all continents are now going out over the Arctic Ocean and they’re persisting over the Arctic Ocean, so that you get storms that are developing there.”

Jose Martinez-Claros, a researcher at the University of California, San Diego’s Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes, who is not involved with the report, said the findings were “concerning.”

“It seems to suggest in the drying and warming climate, these types of storms now reach latitudes that are very much higher than they used to be and closer to the Arctic,” he said.

2021 study also found Arctic lightning had increased between 2010 and 2020 and the trend was strongly linked to global warming, which is caused by fossil fuel emissions.

“We know that the Arctic is changing faster than the rest of the Earth with respect to its climate,” Vagasky said. “And so monitoring these trends in thunderstorms and lightning in this very remote area helps us detect where these warm, moist air intrusions are occurring in this region.

“Lightning in the US also increased in 2021, according to the Vaisala report, where more than 194 million lightning strokes occurred — 24 million more than what was observed in 2020.

More than 1 million of those occurred in December, in concert with several unprecedented winter time severe weather outbreaks that ravaged the Central and Southern US. It was the highest number of strokes researchers have seen in December since 2015, Vagasky said, noting now “even the December time period, you might be getting spring- or summer-type conditions,” he added.

In the US, Texas recorded the most lightning last year, primarily due to its large area and warm, storm-prone location, Vaisala reports. Florida saw the highest lightning density than any other state, with 223 lightning events per square mile, followed by Louisiana and Texas.

Researchers also found lightning-triggered wildfires burned more than two million acres in the US last year. In the drought-stricken West, dry lightning sparked deadly and destructive wildfires, including the Bootleg Fire in Oregon that burned more than 400,000 acres.


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CLIMATE CHANGE: EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS ARE ‘THE NEW NORM’


Extreme weather events – including powerful heat waves and devastating floods – are now the new normal, says the World Meteorological Organisation.

WALRUS LEAVES ARCTIC COMFORT ZONE FOR SNOOZE ON DUTCH SUBMARINE


Unclear if ‘Freya’ is conducting protest lie-in or just waylaid, though Dutch navy note her choice of ‘Walrus-class submarine’


British Columbia, which typically doesn’t experience as much lightning as Canada’s central provinces, also saw a particularly rare lightning outbreak as an unprecedented heat wave seared the region. Between June 30 and July 1, more than 700,000 lightning strokes were recorded in the province.

Vaisala has been detecting lightning in the US for nearly 40 years, and around the planet since 2012. The network detects more than two billion lightning events around the world each year, according to Vaisala, including a 2019 lightning event around 32 miles from the North Pole, which set a Guinness World Record for the northernmost lightning stroke ever detected.

Vagasky said as the climate crisis advances and the Arctic continues to warm, changes in far remote regions will have a ripple effect on weather across the planet.

“All weather is local,” Vagasky said. “When you’re having these drastic changes, especially in places like the Arctic, those sorts of changes are not just impacting the Arctic. The Earth is totally interconnected.”

Source:

Rachel Ramirez at CNN



Ocean Heating This Century Could Create Hurricane Conditions Unseen in 3 Million Years

Ocean Heating This Century Could Create Hurricane Conditions Unseen in 3 Million Years


The study’s authors say the likelihood of higher-latitude tropical storms fueled by human-caused global heating “poses profound risks to the planet’s most populous regions.”


Global heating caused by human activity could warm oceans enough to fuel hurricanes and tropical storms that strike cities as far north as Boston, a new study published Wednesday projects.

“This represents an important, under-estimated risk of climate change,” Joshua Studholme of Yale University, the study’s lead author, said in a statement. “This research predicts that the 21st century’s tropical cyclones will likely occur over a wider range of latitudes than has been the case on Earth for the last 3 million years.”

That means that storms like Tropical Storm Henri, which battered New England in August, and Subtropical Storm Alpha, which made landfall in Portugal a month later, could be indicators of a new normal.

According to the study:

Tropical cyclones (TCs, also known as hurricanes and typhoons) generally form at low latitudes with access to the warm waters of the tropical oceans, but far enough off the equator to allow planetary rotation to cause aggregating convection to spin up into coherent vortices. Yet, current prognostic frameworks for TC latitudes make contradictory predictions for climate change.

Simulations of past warm climates, such as the Eocene and Pliocene, show that TCs can form and intensify at higher latitudes than of those during pre-industrial conditions. Observations and model projections for the 21st century indicate that TCs may again migrate poleward in response to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, which poses profound risks to the planet’s most populous regions.

“We conclude that 21st century TCs will most probably occupy a broader range of latitudes than those of the past three million years as low-latitude genesis will be supplemented with increasing mid-latitude TC favorability,” the study’s authors project, “although precise estimates for future migration remain beyond current methodologies.”

Gan Zhang, an atmospheric scientist who was not involved in the study, told told the BBC that “these tropical cyclone changes, plus pronounced coastal sea level rise, might compound potential societal impacts.”

With 21 named storms, the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season was the third-most active on record.

According to NPR:

Hurricane Ida alone accounts for more than $60 billion in damages—making it one of the five most costly U.S. hurricanes on record since 1980, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Ida hit Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane with a dangerous storm surge and strong winds, and it remained dangerous and destructive for roughly 1,000 miles, as it brought catastrophic flooding to the mid-Atlantic. Ida was blamed for 26 deaths in Louisiana, and at least 50 deaths in the Northeast.

Four storms—Tropical Storm Elsa in July, Tropical Storm Fred in August, Hurricane Nicholas in September, and Ida in August and September—each inflicted more than $1 billion in costs, NOAA said.


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Residents search among the debris of a home after it was destroyed from Friday's tornado on December 15, 2021 in Dawson Springs, Kentucky. Multiple tornadoes touched down in several Midwest states late Friday, December 10, causing widespread destruction and leaving scores of people dead and injured. (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

‘OUR ATMOSPHERE IS BROKEN’: US TOPS RECORD FOR HURRICANE-FORCE WINDS IN A DAY


“The last Dust Bowl stemmed from degradation of the soil,” said writer and activist Bill McKibben. “This time it’s the climate we’ve upended.”

EXTREME HEAT EXPOSURE IN CITIES HAS TRIPLED IN JUST A FEW DECADES, SCIENTISTS WARN


Extreme urban heat exposure has dramatically increased since the early 1980s, with the total exposure tripling over the past 35 years.


This was also the seventh straight year in which a tropical storm was named prior to the official June 1 start of the hurricane season, according to NOAA.

In August, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a report projecting more intense tropical cyclone activity due to climate change.

“The proportion of intense tropical cyclones, average peak tropical cyclone wind speeds, and peak wind speeds of the most intense tropical cyclones will increase on the global scale with increasing global warming,” the report stated.

Source:

Brett Wilkins at Common Dreams



‘Our Atmosphere Is Broken’: US Tops Record for Hurricane-Force Winds in a Day

‘Our Atmosphere Is Broken’: US Tops Record for Hurricane-Force Winds in a Day


“The last Dust Bowl stemmed from degradation of the soil,” said writer and activist Bill McKibben. “This time it’s the climate we’ve upended.”


The United States on Wednesday had the most hurricane-force gusts ever recorded in a single day after an after an “off the charts” storm system tore through the central part of the country, bringing tornadoes and triggering widespread power outages, dust storms, and warnings of the climate emergency.

The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center said there were 55 such wind events throughout the day, more than ever seen at least since current record-keeping began in 2004.

“This is just the kind of thing that happens when you’re in the process of breaking the planet’s climate system.”

“I’ve been doing this 30 years,” said CNN meteorologist Tom Sater, “and we’re seeing things today in the CNN Weather Center we have never seen before.”

Hundreds of thousands of people are still without power on Thursday, according to PowerOutage.US, with the highest number—over 230,000—in Michigan. The second-highest number is in Wisconsin, where over 147,000 customers are without power.

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) on Wednesday also issued for the first time in its history an “extremely critical fire weather outlook” for the Southern and Central Plains during the month of December, and the Weather Prediction Center noted that dozens of cities were experiencing record-warm daily temperatures.

Tornadoes were reported in Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska.

The Weather Channel further noted:

More than 425 reports of severe weather were tallied up Wednesday, mostly in parts of Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, northern Missouri, southern Minnesota, and western Wisconsin. That’s the most severe weather reports for a December day in the U.S. since at least 2000, according to NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center (SPC) database.

The severe weather came just days after an outbreak of 41 tornadoes across eight states caused widespread damage in large swathes of the South and Midwest.


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SEVERE WEATHER ‘NEW NORMAL,’ US EMERGENCY CHIEF WARNS AFTER TORNADOES


More powerful, destructive, and deadlier storms will be the “new normal” as the effects of climate change take root, the top US emergency management official said Sunday after massive tornadoes ravaged six states.


“Incredible. And in December. Our atmosphere is broken,” said Minnesota Public Radio chief meteorologist Paul Huttner in a tweet responding to the announcement of the most 75-mile-per-hour or higher thunderstorm wind gusts in a day.

Sharing video of severe wind conditions on the ground Wednesday in Elkhart, Kansas, author and climate activist Bill McKibben said: “The last Dust Bowl stemmed from degradation of the soil. This time it’s the climate we’ve upended.”

Writing Wednesday at his Substack “The Crucial Years,” McKibben framed Wednesday’s storm system as an unsurprising outcome of the climate emergency:

It’s hard to overstate how hellish the storm now raging across the central plains really is: half the lower 48 is under a weather warning of some kind, as the National Weather Service describes a “historic weather day,” with tornado warnings extending farther north than we’ve ever seen in December. In Colorado winds as high as 107 mph swept down the Front Range of the Rockies. “Amid the high winds, blinding dust storms have swelled over parts of southeast Colorado and western Kansas, with wildfires erupting in Kansas and the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles.”

None of this comes as a great surprise—it’s been a record hot December across much of the continent, with temperatures in the 70s across the northern midwest. This is just the kind of thing that happens when you’re in the process of breaking the planet’s climate system.

The developments come after scientists at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information said earlier this month that Earth had its fourth-warmest November and that the U.S. had its third-warmest meteorological autumn on record.

Source:

Andrea Germanos at Common Dreams



Arctic heat record is like Mediterranean, says UN

Arctic heat record is like Mediterranean, says UN


The highest temperature ever recorded in the Arctic, 38C (100F), has been officially confirmed, sounding “alarm bells” over Earth’s changing climate.


The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on Tuesday verified the record, reported in the Siberian town of Verkhoyansk on 20 June last year.

The temperature was 18C higher than the area’s average daily maximum for June.

The WMO, a UN agency, said the extreme heat was “more befitting the Mediterranean than the Arctic”.

It is the first time the agency has included the Arctic Circle in its archive of extreme weather reports.

The WMO said the 38C temperature was measured at a meteorological station during “an exceptional and prolonged Siberian heatwave“.

Last year’s extreme heat in the region contributed to the spread of wildfires, which swept across the forests and peatlands of northern Russia releasing record amounts of carbon.

While relatively common in summer months, high temperatures and strong winds made the fires unusually severe.

The high temperatures across Siberia led to “massive sea ice loss” and played a major role in 2020 being one of the three warmest years on record, the WMO said.

The agency said its verification of the Verkhoyansk record highlighted how temperatures were increasing in a climatically important region of the world.

“This new Arctic record is one of a series of observations reported to the WMO archive of Weather and Climate Extremes that sound the alarm bells about our changing climate,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.

Mr Taalas told the BBC that melting snow and ice in the Russian Arctic were boosting warming.

“This is very much caused by changes in the radiation properties of the soil and the ocean… once we had snow cover, the radiation properties of the surface is very different from the dark soil or open sea,” he said.

The WMO said it had added the Arctic Circle to its World Weather and Climate Extremes archive under a new category for high temperatures in the region.

The Arctic is one of the fastest warming regions in the world, heating at more than twice the global average, the WMO said.

Warming in the Arctic is leading to the thawing of once permanently frozen permafrost below ground.


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This is alarming scientists because as permafrost thaws, carbon dioxide and methane previously locked up below ground is released.

These greenhouse gases can cause further warming, and further thawing of the permafrost, in a vicious cycle known as positive feedback.

The higher temperatures also cause land ice in the Arctic to melt at a faster rate, leading to greater run-off into the ocean where it contributes to sea-level rise.

Human activity is contributing to a rise in world temperatures, and climate change now threatens every aspect of human life.

Left unchecked, humans and nature will experience catastrophic warming, with worsening droughts, greater sea level rise and mass extinction of species.

Source:

BBC News



Big California storm dumps snow, drenches parched regions

Big California storm dumps snow, drenches parched regions


Motorists spun out on whitened mountain passes and residents wielded umbrellas that flopped in the face of fierce winds as Northern California absorbed even more rain and snow on Monday, bringing the possibility of rockslides and mudslides to areas scarred by wildfires following an especially warm and dry fall across the U.S. West.


Kirkwood Mountain Resort was closed Monday, saying on social media that it was not safe to open with 17 inches (43 centimeters) of overnight snow and high winds. A California Highway Patrol car in Truckee nudged a big-rig up a snowy hill while smaller vehicles spun out, resulting in minor bumps and bruises but no real injuries, CHP Officer Carlos Perez said.

“It’s just so bad and so thick,” he said of the snowfall, with more expected Monday night. “We’re telling people that if they don’t need to be around this area, they probably shouldn’t travel.”

The multiday storm, a powerful “atmospheric river” weather system that is sucking up moisture from the Pacific Ocean, raised the threat of flooding and was expected to dump more than 8 feet (2.4 meters) of snow on the highest peaks in California and Nevada and drench other parts of the two states before it moves on midweek, forecasters said.

The storm will bring much needed moisture to the broader region that’s been gripped by drought that scientists have said is caused by climate change. The latest U.S. drought monitor shows parts of Montana, Oregon, California, Nevada and Utah are classified as being in exceptional drought, which is the worst category.

CALIFORNIA SNOWSTORM

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In this photo provided by the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, fresh snow covers the road to the Mammoth Mountain ski resort in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., on Monday, Dec. 13, 2021. Forecasters say the state's highest peaks could get as much as 8 feet of snow while lower elevations across California are in for a serious drenching of rain. The storm is expected to last days before moving out, but another storm is on the way. Forecasters warned people in mountainous areas to prepare for days of snowfall and possible road closures. (Peter Morning/Mammoth Mountain Ski Area via AP)

Most western U.S. reservoirs that deliver water to states, cities, tribes, farmers and utilities rely on melted snow in the springtime.

This week’s storm is typical for this time of the year but notable because it’s the first big snow that is expected to significantly affect travel with ice and snow on the roads, strong winds and limited visibility, said National Weather Service meteorologist Anna Wanless in Sacramento.

“Most of California, if not all, will see some sort of rain and snow,” she said.

Meanwhile, gusts were so strong in and around San Francisco that state transportation officials issued a wind advisory for the Bay Bridge connecting the city to Oakland and warned drivers of campers and trailers to avoid the 4.5-mile (7.2-kilometer) span late Sunday.

The welcome rain didn’t stop Oakland resident and artist Zhenne Wood from walking her neighbor’s dog, a short-legged corgi.

“I decided to stay home today and not go anywhere, which is nice,” she said. “And I’m really happy for the rain. I think we needed it a lot.”

The storm prompted officials to shut down a 40-mile (64-kilometer) stretch of the iconic Highway 1 in California’s Big Sur area until Tuesday. The scenic coastal route south of the San Francisco Bay Area, frequently experiences damage during wet weather.

Nearby Monterey County residents who live close to burn scars from last year’s Dolan Fire were warned to be prepared to evacuate if rains loosen hillsides and cause debris flows while in Southern California, Los Angeles County fire officials urged residents to be aware of the potential for mud flows.


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CLIMATE CHANGE: EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS ARE ‘THE NEW NORM’


Extreme weather events – including powerful heat waves and devastating floods – are now the new normal, says the World Meteorological Organisation.


In coastal Santa Barbara County, residents of mountain communities near the Alisal Fire burn scar were ordered Monday to evacuate over concerns that heavy rains might cause flooding and debris flows that could inundate hillside homes. Officials didn’t say how many people were affected by the order. A similar order was issued for people living in several communities near another burn scar in the San Bernardino Mountains, more than an hour’s drive east of Los Angeles.

Forecasters said strong winds accompanying the storm could lead to power outages. Karly Hernandez, a spokesperson for Pacific Gas & Electric, said crews and equipment are staged across the state to respond if the power goes out.

The second storm predicted to hit California midweek shortly after the current storm moves on could deliver almost continuous snow in mountainous areas, said Edan Weishahn of the weather service in Reno, which monitors an area straddling the Nevada state line.

Donner Summit, one of the highest points on Interstate 80 and a major commerce commuter route, could face major travel disruptions or road closures, Weishahn said.

Vail Resorts’ three Tahoe-area ski resorts opened with limited offerings over the weekend after crews produced artificial snow. Northstar and Heavenly were both able to open Monday, but Kirkwood could not, said spokeswoman Sara Roston.

Source:

Janie Har and Christopher Weber via Associated Press