Storm: Floods in California - at least two dead

At least two people have died in a severe storm in the US state of California.

Storm: Floods in California - at least two dead

At least two people have died in a severe storm in the US state of California. The coroner's office has confirmed that both deaths are related to the extreme weather, which is bringing torrential rain and flooding, said Nancy Ward, chief of the local office for emergency services.

According to information from the California government, a state of emergency applies in 34 of the 58 counties in the state. In some areas, people have been asked to evacuate their homes and go to higher ground for safety reasons amid fears of flooding.

Extreme weather should continue

Warnings of possible flash flooding have been issued for large parts of central California. Up to 30 centimeters of rain has been forecast in some higher areas in the coming days. "We will see continued rain and heavy snowfall throughout much of northern and central California throughout the weekend," said David Lawrence of the National Weather Service. The storm will last until at least the middle of next week. More flooding was expected.

"Never drive through barricades or roadblocks. Never drive through water you don't know how deep it is," warned Ward of the Bureau of Emergency Services. Anyone who is asked to leave an area should definitely do so. On Friday, almost 10,000 people were ordered to evacuate.

Since January, the state on the west coast of the country, which has often been plagued by dryness and drought in the past, has been repeatedly hit by unusually heavy rainfall. Rising temperatures could result in more snowmelt. In the past few weeks, an unusual amount of snow has fallen in higher elevations in California.

weather phenomenon "atmospheric flow"

The reason for the current heavy precipitation is a weather phenomenon called "atmospheric flow". According to the German Weather Service, this means "a relatively narrow, directed band of moisture-saturated air" that can be up to 500 kilometers wide and 2,000 kilometers long. Such systems transported much of the water vapor outside the tropics.

According to the US climate agency NOAA, about as much water can be transported as flows through the mouth of the Mississippi River. Because the humid air masses that hit California often come from the tropical sea regions in the Pacific region around Hawaii, they are also called the "Pineapple Express", it was said.