An “atmospheric river” brought a massive downpour to parts of California on Thursday, causing flooding and felling of trees.
More severe storms, bringing rain, snow and dangerously high winds, are expected in the coming days.
The storm is what there is known as pineapple express“a river with a strong atmosphere capable of carrying moisture from the tropics near Hawaii to the west coast of the United States,” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The storm made landfall earlier Thursday in the San Francisco Bay area, marked by heavy rain and strong winds. It moved south, inundating Los Angeles during the morning commute and causing flooding.
The storm continued to blow and break your cheeks in southern California, all the way to San Diego. Parts of Los Angeles County were hit by flash floods, submerging cars on low-lying roads. Sections of the Pacific Coast Highway were temporarily closed Thursday.
Many areas of central and southern California remain under flood warnings until at least Friday morning.
After a short lull in the storm, a second atmospheric river is expected to hit the region starting Sunday, and several parts of the state are expected to receive 10 inches or more of precipitation in the coming days.
The second atmospheric river could become the “biggest storm of the season” warned the National Weather Service in Los Angeles.
“It is very likely that this will be a 2-3 day serious storm system,” he said.
In Northern California, snow is expected. Up to 4 feet could reach the highest peaks of the Sierra Nevada.