All the Los Angeles TV stations fly helicopters. They came in handy this afternoon as heavy thunderstorm downpours brought flash flooding. Some cars which tried to ford new fast flowing rivers got trapped in mud and sediment.
Seeing flash flooding for the first time is scary. A small wall of mud and water approaches. What’s not easily seen is the infusion of rocks, tree limbs and other debris. You can’t stand in its way. It will bring you down even when it’s just a few inches deep!
At science’s current state-of-the-art it’s impossible to say where floods will occur. It could be in a dry river wash or a brand new channel. The position of the downpour and previous storm paths provide the guidance, but it’s much too complex to be read in real time by us.
California has lots of steep ground. That lets floods pick up speed and aggregate water from a great distance. Flooding can take place miles from the rain! It often happens under sunny skies.
California does have less impactful weather than most of the rest of the United States. It’s just the distance between run-of-the-mill and disaster is much closer here. Each raindrop is potential peril.
We’re heading toward an El Nino winter with lots of rain. Our problems will only get worse.