California Still Suffering Drought After Rain Storm


Despite the pouring rain storm that hit Southern California over the weekend, there still seems to be no help for the drought that the region has been suffering, according to experts. Evacuation orders were actively kept in effect for hundreds of homes in the foothill communities of Los Angeles County where vegetation has been burned away in brush fires, thus causing debris flows to belch on frequent occasions as there was nothing holding the soil in place.

The rain storm served as a quick break from several months of drought that developed into a state of emergency, in particular for the sizable farming industry in the state of California. However, storms such as this one would have to become frequent guests in the golden state to prove an effective counterbalance to the drought, according to weather forecasters.

The massive downpour of rain drenched parts of California throughout Saturday before departing overnight. While the risk of mudslides was gradually subsiding, authorities urged the locals, who had evacuated their homes up to three days prior, to remain away until Sunday morning.

According to a statement from Assistant Chief Steve Martin of the LA County Fire Department, the good thing was that the persistent rain storm was seemingly passing, but a thorough evaluation of certain areas in California was still needed, especially those where vegetation has suffered the drought.

According to a forecast presented by the National Weather Service, the storm is predicted to head east over the Rocky Mountains and onto the Plains and further into the Mississippi Valley as the day progresses on Sunday, bringing a wide variety of downpour as it passes through the various regions. The ski resorts in Colorado could therefore potentially see up to a half a dozen inches of fresh snow. A mixture of sleet and snow will gradually turn into all snow as it moves through Kansas, Missouri and Illinois, with the forecast for the St. Louis area and Kansas City predicting up to 8 inches. Further, the predictions for Northern Arkansas suggest freezing rain. The storm has also set its course on the Appalachians and the East Coast as it proceeds into Monday.

A total of 70 consecutive days without rain were reportedly broken in the Phoenix area as the storm moved eastward on Saturday, and further a total of 85 consecutive days of the same situation was broken in Las Vegas on Friday. Much needed rain and snow also hit New Mexico, that has suffered an immense drought much like California. One person was killed and 30 others injured when over 100 vehicles were involved in a highway pileup as the snow slammed down on Denver on Saturday, according to authorities.

In drought suffering California, approximately 1,200 houses in the twin cities of Glendora and Azusa as well as neighboring Monrovia, remained persistently under strict evacuation orders due to the potential probability of destructive flows, caused by the rain storm, pelting down the San Gabriel Mountains, a rocky range predominantly covered by the Angeles National Forest. The predicted forecast for Sunday suggested only showers for the state of California, which might be considered a lucky break for the evenings Academy Awards red carpet event in Hollywood. Despite the heavy rain storm, California will reportedly still be suffering from the persistent drought.

By Halldor Fannar Sigurgeirsson


LA Times

Seattle Pi

Christian Science Monitor

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