Story at a glance
- An intensely powerful storm is hitting California.
- A number of places, including downtown Sacramento, set 24-hour rainfall totals going into Monday.
- The historic rainfall follows California’s second-driest year on record in 2021.
An intensely powerful storm is hitting California following months of raging wildfires in the state.
The National Weather Service’s Sacramento office warned of “potentially historic rain” on Saturday as the storm system walloped much of Southern California and later confirmed that records had been reached.
“Several locations set their all time 24hr rainfall total between 1:00 AM PDT 10/24/2021 and 1:00 AM PDT 10/25/2021,” the office tweeted on Monday morning.
Several locations set their all time 24hr rainfall total between 1:00 AM PDT 10/24/2021 and 1:00 AM PDT 10/25/2021. Blue canyon off I-80 saw 10.4 inches! #CAwx #CArain #AtmosphericRiver pic.twitter.com/kp9Unv6ImU— NWS Sacramento (@NWSSacramento) October 25, 2021
Downtown Sacramento set its 24-hour rainfall record with 5.44 inches, with the previous record for the area being 5.28 inches in 1880. Meanwhile, Blue Canyon hit a record-breaking 10.40 inches of rainfall, compared to its previous record of 9.33 inches in 1964.
However, the effects of the rain stretched further north, as well. The rainfall and subsequent flooding caused a number of landslides along State Route 70 through Butte and Plumas counties, and mudslides were frequent along state highways 16 and 20 through Colusa and Yolo counties.
Both the landslides and mudslides were the result of burn scars from previous wildfires. The lack of vegetation in the area burned away by the wildfires leaves little to soak up the heavy rain and makes the areas vulnerable to flash floods.
The historic rainfall comes following a dry year for the state. California’s water year in 2021, which ended on Sept. 30, was the second driest year on record since 1924.
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