Long Beach, California is preparing for the arrival of a powerful second atmospheric river that is expected to bring life-threatening flooding to parts of the state. This forecast comes after the first atmospheric river caused localized flooding up and down the West Coast earlier in the week.
An atmospheric river is a relatively narrow channel of wind that transports water vapor to the West Coast, and when powerful, it can cause significant damage. The National Weather Service in Los Angeles is warning that the storm could drop unprecedented rain over the region from Saturday night through early next week, with the period of most concern from Sunday into early Monday.
During the peak of the storm, rain rates are expected to be from a half to one inch per hour, posing a risk for life-threatening flooding in all areas, including highly populated urban regions. Officials are specifically advising those who live next to rivers, streams, or along mountainous areas to prepare for potential evacuations.
The city of Los Angeles is taking proactive measures to inform and prepare its residents for the impending storm. Mayor Karen Bass expressed confidence in the city’s preparations and urged residents to take commonsense precautions in the face of the anticipated severe weather conditions.
In addition to flooding, mud and rock slides are expected in the mountains and foothills, and evacuations may be required in some areas, especially in places previously affected by wildfires. Furthermore, high winds are expected to accompany the atmospheric river, with wind gusts of up to 80 mph possible in the mountains of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties and the Antelope Valley.