'Pineapple Express' Storm Swamps California with Historic Rainfall, 3 Dead

Feb 6, 2024

What are Atmospheric Rivers?

Last updated 9:00 PM EST 2/5/2024

A huge rain storm has swamped California in the past two days. It was caused by an atmospheric river. It's dumped as much as 10 inches of rain in parts of the southern half of the state. Hurricane force winds were recorded in the north and the central coast. Power was cut off for hundreds of thousands of users, and three people died from falling trees.  

California's governor declared a state of emergency for eight counties. He called the event “a serious storm with dangerous and potentially life-threatening impacts.” The storm is likely to keep hitting the West Coast through Tuesday. 

The storm forced the evacuation of many homes. It caused mudslides in Los Angeles (LA) early Monday, a day after four inches of rainfall poured over downtown LA. That's the most for the region in any day in nearly two decades. It crushed a record for February 4 set almost 100 years ago. The National Weather Service on Monday predicted up to 14 inches of rain could fall on Southern California in 48 hours. LA normally gets that much in a year.  

The New York Times published an online video. It showed Santa Barbara residents crossing a street in thigh-high water.

The rains flooded highways. Heavy snow fell in places 5,000 feet above sea level. That made travel at that altitude “near impossible," the weather service said. High winds across the region downed power lines, too. As many as 700,000 customers were without power at one point, according to PowerOutage.us.

Three men in three different counties were killed by falling trees.

The Weather Service urged Californians to stay inside. It also told residents to stay away from windows during high winds.

Reflect: How might extreme weather events impact people's lives and communities? What are some ways that individuals and communities can prepare for and respond to such situations?

If readers wanted to know how much precipitation an atmospheric river causes, they should reference _______. (Common Core RI.5.7; RI.6.7)
a. the article only
b. the infographic only
c. the article and the infographic
d. neither the article nor the infographic
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