California gets hit by strongest storms in years dubbed “weather bomb”; kills at least four people and bringing torrential rain and floods; Power cuts hit 150,000 households; storm disrupts more than 300 flights. One of California’s strongest storms in years – dubbed as “bombogenesis” or “weather bomb” – has hit the state, killing at least four people and bringing torrential rain and floods.
Power cuts hit 150,000 households and sinkholes swallowed cars. Hundreds of homes were evacuated amid fear of mud slides near Los Angeles.
More gusts, heavy rain and flash floods were expected on Saturday but the storm is due to subside by Sunday.
More than 300 flights have been disrupted at Los Angeles International Airport, and major roads have closed. Five man was killed after a tree fell and pulled a power line on to his car in the Sherman Oaks area of Los Angeles.
Rescue and Relief
- The state’s fire department said firefighters had to rescue 15 people from cars trapped in fast-moving water on a road in Sun Valley, and use ropes and inflatable boats to rescue seven people and two dogs from a flood-control area on the Los Angeles River.
- Evacuation orders were issued in the city of Duarte, in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains east of Los Angeles, and in parts of Camarillo Springs in Ventura County.
- It is feared that areas that have been previously hit by forest fires could be more susceptible to mud slides as there is less vegetation to break the flow of running water.
- In Duarte, about 20 miles (32 km) east of Los Angeles, city authorities said they had been door to door to issue mandatory evacuations. Those who chose to stay were required to sign notifications.
- After five years of drought, a series of storms have filled state reservoirs.
About “bombogenesis” Explosive cyclogenesis
- Explosive cyclogenesis (also referred to as a weather bomb, meteorological bomb, explosive development, or bombogenesis) refers in a strict sense to a rapidly deepening extratropical cyclonic low-pressure area.
- To enter this category, the central pressure of a depression at 60° latitude is required to decrease by 24 mb (hPa) or more in 24 hours.
- This is a predominantly maritime, cold-season (winter) event, but also occurs in continental settings. This process is the extratropical equivalent of the tropical rapid deepening.
- Baroclinic instability has been cited as one of the principal mechanisms for the development of most explosively deepening cyclones.
- However, the relative roles of baroclinic and diabatic processes in explosive deepening of extratropical cyclones have been subject to debate (citing case studies) for a long time.
- Other factors include the relative position of a 500-hPa trough and thickness patterns, deep tropospheric frontogenetic processes which happen both upstream and downstream of the surface low, the influence of air–sea interaction, and latent heat release.
- Meteorologists describe the “bombogenesis” as an intense extra-tropical cyclonic low-pressure area, or “a weather bomb”.