Californians Brace for Mudslides, Avalanches From Heavy Rain, Snow

Mar 10, 2023

What Are Atmospheric Rivers?

California is getting ready for more storms. The state has already been hit hard by heavy rain and snow. A storm bringing heavy rains and snow was expected to strike Thursday evening.

As many as 17.5 million residents in California remained under flood watches.

The storm is an “atmospheric river” storm. 

Atmospheric rivers are intense, narrow currents of moist air. They can carry a lot of water vapor. The air usually travels from tropical areas to higher altitudes. Most of the rain the US West Coast gets over the winter comes from these types of storms.

Officials warned people in California to be ready for the worst. In Monterey County, officials recommended that people have food and supplies to last for at least two weeks. The county has also given out sandbags for those worried about flooding.

The National Weather Service warned of “avalanche danger” at places 5,000 feet above sea level. Experts said as much as two feet of snow could fall along the Sierra Nevada. They warned that rooftops already covered in snow could buckle or cave in. They asked that those with snow on their roofs try to remove what they can. 

The huge storms and threat of floods are occurring while much of the state is still in a drought . According to NOAA, 49.1% of California is still in a drought. 

Which of the following ideas is highlighted in both the article and the infographic? (Common Core RI.5.7; RI.6.7)
a. drought
b. avalanches
c. flooding
d. atmospheric rivers
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