California cities break rain records as atmospheric river storm floods state

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Cars attempt to navigate a flooded street on October 24, 2021 in San Rafael. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

A river storm atmospheric system brought much-needed rains to drought-stricken California on Sunday and Monday, including record amounts in Sacramento and San Francisco, according to the National Weather Service.

Downtown Sacramento received 5.44 inches of precipitation, the most on record in a 24-hour period there. The amount surpasses the city’s old record of 5.28 inches, which dates back to 1880, the NWS reported.

Meanwhile, downtown San Francisco recorded 4.02 inches of precipitation, making it the city’s wettest day on record in October, the weather service said. The total breaks the previous October city record of 2.48 inches set on October 13, 2009.

Overall, San Francisco had its fourth wettest day since record keeping began during the Gold Rush. The city’s total daily precipitation is 5.54.

“It has been a memorable past 24 hours for the Bay Area as the long-talked about atmospheric river passed through the area,” the local weather office said. “We literally went from blazing drought conditions to flooding in a single storm cycle. “

In addition to the flooding that resulted in road closures, the powerful storm also resulted in widespread power outages that left tens of thousands of Pacific Gas & Electric in the dark, as well as some evacuations due to concerns about Potential mudslides and debris flows in recent burn areas. .

Yet despite significant total precipitation, the first major storm of the season is not expected to seriously affect the state’s drought, experts say.

“A water storm this early in the year does not predict the rest of the winter storm season,” state climatologist Michael Anderson said in a statement. “After this system, we see a period of dry weather returning to California.”

The last year in California, which ended on September 30, was among the driest on record in the state. And some of the state’s most important reservoirs remain at record levels.

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