A bomb cyclone threatens California: it could cause flooding and landslides

The rains that impacted the state over the weekend left much of the soil saturated (REUTERS/Carlos Barria) (CARLOS BARRIA/)

The state of California continues to be on alert for the arrival of a cyclone bomb caused by an atmospheric river that could generate important landslides, floods and strong winds for the next two days.

The National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center (NWS, for its acronym in English) announced on social media that “conditions will deteriorate” in the state with “heavy rainfall and gusty winds.”

He also reported that flooding is expected in the lower areas with rainfall of one inch (2.54 centimeters) per hour, rock slides, falling trees, hazardous conditions on roads in the mountain area and possible power outages.

The severity of the rainfall forecast for Thursday and Friday is due to the fact that the rains that impacted the state during the weekend left much of the saturated soilmaking the land more susceptible to flooding, a UCLA climate specialist told the Los Angeles Times.

As heavy rains and gusty winds move to the coast, the areas where the greatest threat is expected are Northern California and the San Francisco Bay.

The California storm is being triggered by a strong “atmospheric river”an elongated band in the atmosphere that can carry large flows of concentrated moisture in the atmosphere, which after strengthening became a bomb cyclone on Wednesday.

The floods that are expected for these days will not end the historic drought that afflicts the state (REUTERS / Carlos Barria)
The floods that are expected for these days will not end the historic drought that afflicts the state (REUTERS/Carlos Barria) (CARLOS BARRIA/)

Among the disasters that this fact has left are floods, breakage of dikes, the closure of the main highways and the evacuation of thousands of people from their homes.

Experts have also pointed out that the floods that are expected these days they will not end the state’s historic drought.

And that, in part, the drought conditions and the forest fires that the territory of California has suffered have generated a considerable weakening of the soil, making it more prone to landslides and increased stream flows.

The alert has come a week after the winter storm elliott It will leave more than 50 dead from the cold and accidents, in addition to 1.7 million homes without electricity, with the city of Buffalo (northwestern New York State) as the most affected.

What is a bomb cyclone

A bomb cyclone is a large, intense mid-latitude storm that has low pressure at its center, weather fronts, and a range of associated weather conditions, from blizzards to heavy thunderstorms and precipitation. It becomes a pump when its central pressure drops very rapidly, at least 24 millibars in 24 hours. Two famous meteorologists, Fred Sanders and John Gyakumgave this pattern its name in a 1980 study.

When a cyclone “bombs” or suffers a bombogenesis, this indicates that it has access to the optimal ingredients to strengthen itself.such as high amounts of heat, humidity, and rising air. Most cyclones do not intensify rapidly in this way. Bomb cyclones put forecasters on high alert, because they can produce significant damaging impacts.

The east coast of the US is one of the regions where bombogenesis is most common.. This is because storms in the mid-latitudes – a temperate zone north of the tropics that includes the entire continental US – get their energy from large temperature contrasts. Along the east coast of the US during the winter, there is a strong natural thermal contrast between the cold land and the warm Gulf Stream.

Over the warmer ocean, heat and humidity are abundant. But when cold continental air moves overhead and creates a large temperature difference, the lower atmosphere becomes unstable and buoyant. The air rises, cools, and condenses, forming clouds and precipitation.

(With information from EFE)

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