Saturday, February 18, 2017

Wild Storm Blasts Southern California, Northern Part Of That State Up Next

The 110 Freeway in Los Angeles Friday
Southern California, including the Los Angeles basin and San Diego, got their biggest storm hit of the winter Friday as the most powerful storm in years hit the southern part of the Golden State.

Until now, the northern half of California has seen the major action from this stormy season, though southern California has had plenty of drought-busting rains, too.

The weather focused its fury on Los Angeles and environs Friday, with reports of at least four people killed in storm related incidents. There were plenty of flooded freeways, mudslides and toppled trees from the strong winds that accompanied the storm.

There's some videos at the bottom of this post showing the California storms.

On radar, I watched last night as a powerful squall line passed through southern California, looking for the world like something I'd seen in the Midwest during the springtime tornado season peak.

I'm not aware of any tornadoes touching down in California with this storm, but there was plenty of havoc from the rain and wind.

Two cars plunged into a 10-foot deep sinkhole that abruptly opened up on a road in Studio City. One woman who was in a car that fell into the sinkhole was rescued when firefighters lowered a ladder down to her.

On Interstate 15 in Cajun Pass, water undermined a lane of the highway, causing a fire truck to fall over and plunge down an embankment. Luckily the firefighters who were in the truck were able to jump off before it went, so they're safe.

Several cars got stuck in flooding on the 110 Freeway and the normally incredibly busy freeway had to be shut down.

The southern California storm will gradually taper off today, though flood watches extend all the way into Arizona as the system makes its way inland.

Via Kathy Vara at NBCLA, a large tree
smashed into an apartment building
 in L.A.'s  Westwood.
The next storm will slam northern California starting later tomorrow. Officials are fairly confident the Oroville Dam will hold. There were big evacuations last weekend as spillways threatened to collapse there and unleash a huge flood downstream.

Workers have been able to drop the dam reservoir's level by 42 feet, opening up quite a bit of room for the anticipated deluge.

However, with ground already saturated, the expected five to 10 inches of rain over much of northern California is sure to produce a renewed round of serious flooding and mudslides.

Usually, when California gets a storm, a large portion of the rest of the nation eventually gets clobbered with something.

It looks like energy from the southern California storm will eventually make it into the Gulf of Mexico and weaken.

The storm will probably produce a few severe thunderstorms in Texas and Oklahoma. It could also produce some bad weather along the Gulf Coast and in Florida within a few days.

The northern California storm will eventually spin up another strong storm in the middle of the nation in the middle of next week. It's too soon to offer details on exactly what that one will do.

Now some videos:

Here's a storm-induced massive landslide in the San Bernardino mountains:

Here's a video compilation of some flooding scenes in California from Friday.

Here's a BMW stuck on a flooded California highway. Not sure why he drove into it, and I'm not sure why the bus in the video is plowing through so aggressively, either.:

Here's that fire truck falling off the collapsing freeway:

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