LOS ANGELES (AP) — Scientists say a plausible super-storm that could devastate California would be fed by an “atmospheric river” moving water at the same rate as 50 Mississippi rivers discharging water into the Gulf of Mexico.

Scientists who studied historic storms to understand the risks modern California faces discussed on Friday a developing scaling system to measure the intensity of an atmospheric river — a huge hose-like flow of Pacific Ocean moisture into the state.

Dry, Warm Weather An Indication Of La Niña: KNX 1070’s John Brooks reports.

A storm scenario released by the U.S. Geological Survey this week says such a storm has the potential to cause flood damage to a quarter of the houses in the state.

The report, based on computer models analyzing the impacts of two storms that soaked the state in 1969 and 1986, describes a storm lasting more than 40 days and dumping up to 10 feet of rain.

A team of 117 scientists, engineers, lifeline operators, emergency planners and insurance experts worked for two years on the project for the purpose of emergency planning. They named the weather event “ARkStorm,” after an intense atmospheric river storm that would overwhelm the state’s flood protection system, cause massive flooding, hundreds of landslides and serious damage in the state’s major population centers.

“We create these scenarios to understand what are the implication of the types of very rare events that science tell us has to happen in our future,” Lucy Jones, chief scientist of the USGS Multi-Hazards Demonstration Project, said following a symposium with the researchers at the University of California, Davis.

The project has resulted in the first statewide map detailing areas susceptible to landslides, a modeling system for analyzing severe storm impacts to coastal areas, and a scaling system to categorize the intensity of atmospheric rivers — the force behind
most winter storms over California.

The scaling system is still in the works, but so far scientists have estimated that the atmospheric river that fed a powerful storm over California last month moved water at 20 times the rate of water discharging from the Mississippi River into the Gulf.

The scale helps visualize the amount and intensity of moisture rolling through the atmospheric river and helps scientists understand the severity of a storm, said Mark Jackson, meteorologist-in-charge of the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

He said historical records show California has had several storms in which 16 inches of rain fell in three days — the same amount left in the wake of hurricanes over Gulf Coast states.

“Our storms really are as bad as hurricanes in the amount of rain that they can bring,” USGS Director Marcia McNutt said.

“Without that type of labeling, we haven’t recognized that our storms are that bad and we risk underestimating emergency response (to storms).”

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (18)
  1. Chris says:

    Yea right!! “They” whoever they are have such incredible control over the weather, there is no way they would allow that to happen anywhere near LA…..give me a break!

    1. carlos says:

      you are right Chris, “they” (the elites) have such an incredible control over the weather (look up the HAARP machine), but don’t think they use that power to help us. As a matter of fact, they use that power against us, of course they would let that happen. As a matter of fact, this “expected storm” article is just to soften people up for when it does occur. Remember, they don’t want others to challange their position of power!

      1. monica nd jenny says:

        only god has control. if he wants to kill us all he will. alriggggghhht….
        it’s t shirtttt timeeeeee!!!!!!!!
        oh yeahhh winter storm yeahhh
        i think we’re gunna need a boat.
        or a floatie.
        guyyyyys lets try to surf the storm!
        then we’ll go dowwwn in history.
        and barack NOT the rock will wanna meet us and oprah will give us a free trip to AUSTRALIA!!!!
        i wonder if my phone gets service over there….
        what if the tickets are only one way??
        how are we gunna get back home??
        maybbbeee we’ll meet a kangaroo. cheeaaa boyyy
        anyways im eating almonds.
        they’re good for you.
        so once upon a time there was this girl. she died. it was horrible. well duuhhhh. but yeah anyways.
        dont you hate it when you run out of things to talk about but u wanna keep typing cuz the keyboard makes cool noises???
        or is it just me??
        alright well that’s my opinion on the storm
        🙂 goodnight errbody.
        kenny says bye. jenny says hi
        we are not high and we dont wanna die
        i like pie

  2. dave_a says:

    May such a storm will wash all the illegals and gangs out to the pacific?

    1. Larry says:

      may it happen PLEASE

      1. EL NIÑO says:


    2. legal says:

      dave,,,fififififififififiifiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii 😛 …you suck man!!! go with the storm!!!!

    3. jorge rosas says:

      to late my dear friend….we are passing the word where to purchase cheap canoes like the ones in the TITANIC movie that can hold up to forty of us, and since most of us are kind of shorties, make it double…LOL…Including our pets too.

  3. shaun hayes says:

    yeah right?! Too bad these clowns don’t have a time frame on this big disaster. Jesus Christ is due to make an appearance again one day too! Who’s preparing for that?

  4. Bri says:

    Gather the animals and find Noah! Ha! Give me a break!!!

  5. Larry says:

    the government is paying a team of 117 scientists and engineers millions of $$ the past 2 years to come up with scenarios what the F ?,,,, here is a scenario, lets deal with issues on hand like an american citizen cant get a job, but illegals are working for a $100 per day and eating out every night with their families. american citizens are losing their houses but the illegals are getting assistance from the state and living in brand new homes, I could go on with scenarios ,, why do we have to pay for these guys to come up with scenarios. WHEN IT ALL COMES DOWN ONLY THE SMART AND STRONG SURVIVE .. so let it be

    1. carlos says:

      Illegals working for 100$ per day, please, they wish they would be earning this much. The little money they earn is earned with the sweat of their forehead, you think they are going to be assisted by the gov. without a soc. sec. #. Common! Wake up! There’s a diff. between a foreigner and an ILLEGAL foreigner! You’re so concerned on these “illegal aliens” and don’t see what your government is doing to you!

    2. Lali Mondragon says:

      Larry and all you other racist ignorant fellos. Illegas aren’t dumb just cause they’re illegal. your right only the smart and strong survive. if you really think illegal ppl get all these benifits then you are beyond idiotic. and since they are getting payed 25 cents every 30 minutes working hard labor they will be strong and survive. VIVA MEXICO.!!!! BTW YOU are an illegal immagrant. i’m assumin your ANGLO SAXIN if you know what that means (white) your ppl came here to supposive undiscovered land, and raped and pillaged the true citizens of this land., just incase you don’t know who that is its the INIDIGINOUS PEOPLE OF AMERICA, including many mexican indians. so before you go wish death upon ppl you know nothing of, study up on your history, and facts. maybe then you can have a true decent intellectual conversation. PEACE.

  6. jorge rosas says:

    I hope Dave if this storm pass your way and you wont be able to reach for help cuz your life will be depending on one a mexican oaxaquita like myself pass through you in my cadilc canoe , so I can rescue you and feed you, cuz I still consider you my brother in the eyes of GOD……

  7. Ed says:

    Every one. Let’s get back to the subject. The rain storm. These are devastating news for most of us. Specially if we have little ones at home, or live in an old home with a weak roof. Scary thoughts are going through my head………….

  8. jason says:

    YOU IDIOTS.you people are not worth to die even dieing needs a little understanding you don’t know what is going to happen and better not to know

  9. Chagolla says:

    What if this super storm never happens and this goverment of ours is just trying to brain wash everyone to come up with all these different thoughts and crazy coverstions we are all people we live on the same little earth!! everyone get real and live your everyday life normally let destiny happen .!!! = )

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