Atmospheric Rivers Produce Much Water, But No Piranha

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The tree fell into the house at the corner of Toyopa and Alma Real.

PBS explains that an atmospheric river is a narrow corridor of concentrated water vapor transported in the atmosphere. “It’s like a river in the sky that can be 1,000 miles long. On average, atmospheric rivers have about twice the regular flow of the Amazon River.”

The second of two rainstorms started falling on February 4 in the afternoon, which prompted the annual Palisades Democratic Club meeting to go fully virtual.

L.A. City Mayor Karen Bass asked people to stay off the City streets until 9 a.m. February 5, when the heaviest rains should have abated.

Sunday night around 9:10, volunteers at Corpus Christi Church had just finished a volunteer appreciation dinner, when they heard a loud noise, which some described as sounding like an earthquake.

Outside, a large pine tree fell on the Convent home on at the corner of Toyopa and Alma Real, causing major structural damage. No one was in the house, when the tree fell.

Several more trees also fell, one by the library and another by the tennis courts at the Palisades Rec Center.

While many were watching the Grammys,  Santa Monica Canyon resident Sharon Kilbride stepped out and captured this video of water pouring under the Short Street Bridge out to the beach and ocean.

Rain water going through the flood channel under Short Street.

At 7:30 a.m. February 5, this editor emptied the rain gauge, which contained 5.5 inches of rain. Rain continued to fall and this afternoon at 4 p.m., there was another inch in the gauge. Rain is expected to last into Tuesday.

Sunset Boulevard, between Allenford and Pacific Coast Highway, was impacted as rocks and dirt fell onto the roadway. Many of the mountain roads were closed because of mud and rock slides.

Will Rogers State beach was littered with trees, trash and other items. One person reported that the beach sand, between the Lifeguard Headquarters and the entrance to the beach by Temescal Canyon Road, had washed out.

There was damage done to the beach path at Chautauqua and Channel Road, at the site were flood channels flow into the ocean. The Marvin Braude Beach Bike Path, which was dedicated in May 2023, was closed because the sand under the concrete-slab bridge, washed out, leaving no support.

The sand underneath the bike path bridge washed out.

That work to construct the bridge, which was a County/City joint powers agreement began in February 2022, and included the construction of a concrete slab bridge, removal and replacement of culverts. The funding was $2.2 million in an active Transportation Program Grant and $3.8 million in Los Angeles County Measure R Local Return Funds.

So far, the atmospheric river, which started on February 4 and has been measured through 5 p.m. today, dropped 6.5 inches of rain.

The wettest two-day stretch ever for downtown Los Angeles occurred more than 90 years ago when 7.98 inches of rain fell from December 31, 1933, to January 1, 1934.

More rain is expected into Monday evening and Tuesday. Currently, Pacific Palisades rainfall total stands at 20.2 inches well above the annual rainfall of 13.78 inches, which is measured from July 1 through June 30.

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, the stormiest periods in Southern California will be in early and late January, early to mid-February, and mid-March. April and May will be warmer and drier than normal. Summer temperatures will be above normal, with slightly above-normal rainfall.

According to the long-range forecast from the Weather Channel, after this system moves out tomorrow, Tuesday, the next chance of showers will be over President’s Day Weekend.

Of course, that’s just when the Genesis Golf Tournament is at the Riviera Country Club.

Passersby look at the roots of the gigantic tree that fell over on Toyopa.

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One Response to Atmospheric Rivers Produce Much Water, But No Piranha

  1. Paula H Deats says:

    Funny – When everyone is betting on the weather (getting to be a pricey game!) I go to the Almanac. Thanks for this; we’ll see if some things do stay the same.

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