BY Andrew Jose, The Western JournalJanuary 3, 2023
1 year ago

Dual Threat 'Bomb Cyclone' Headed for the West - Loss of Human Life 'Likely'

A massive storm bringing life-threatening floods, power outages, and fierce winds is set to batter California in the coming days.

According to meteorologists with AccuWeather, the storm is set to arrive between Wednesday and Thursday, days after the state witnessed deadly flooding and heavy snowfall.

The storm is expected to intensify quickly and evolve into a bomb cyclone fueled by an atmospheric river originating in the Pacific Ocean, around 2,500 miles away.

The atmospheric river has been called a “Pineapple Express,” since it would ferry large amounts of moisture from Hawaii to California, according to reporting from the New York Post.

The resulting snowfall and rainfall could disrupt travel and cause power outages.

"There is a significant risk for flash flooding, and people should watch for and avoid rapidly rising water which can quickly become life-threatening," AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Jon Porter said.

“This will be a dangerous and high-impact storm for California, capable of producing life-threatening conditions and significant disruption which may last several days.”

“Not only will this storm be intense tapping into a substantial atmospheric river, but it is also arriving just days after the previous storm brought heavy rainfall and created significant flooding, increasing the impacts and risks that can occur,” Porter said.

“Widespread flooding and wind impacts expected from Wednesday into Thursday as a strong weather system and atmospheric river moves through the region,” the National Weather Service said in a Tuesday statement.

“Subsequent weather systems will bring additional precipitation and periods of stronger winds this weekend and into at least early next week,” the NWS said.

Tuesday is expected to be a “calm day” before the impending storm and the last day to prepare for “impending impacts,” according to the NWS statement.

“To put it simply, this will likely be one of the most impactful systems on a widespread scale that this meteorologist has seen in a long while,” a warning from the National Weather Service’s Bay Area office said, according to Fortune.

“The impacts will include widespread flooding, roads washing out, hillside collapsing, trees down (potentially full groves), widespread power outages, immediate disruption to commerce, and the worst of all, likely loss of human life. This is truly a brutal system that we are looking at and needs to be taken seriously,” the warning stated.

The NWS advised citizens to sign up for their county emergency alerts and reverse 911 calls, and to pay attention to warnings of flooding and landslides.

Citizens are advised to have a “go bag” ready with essential items in cases where immediate evacuations would be necessary.

The kit should include essentials such as water, food, cell phones with chargers and backup batteries, flashlights, and a first aid kit.

California residents are also advised to keep their insurance policies and key documents with them and to prepare for power outages and road closures that could last for multiple days.

“Impacts can be ongoing even after the heaviest rain is over. Mudslides can sometimes occur several days or even weeks after heavy rain events. Flooded waterways may take days to recede,” the NWS warned.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Andrew Jose, The Western Journal

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