Science Friday: An 1860’s storm turned California into a 300 mile long sea, and it could happen again | Five planets visible in the pre-dawn sky through tomorrow

atmospheric river california

A massive 19th century storm in the pacific United States opened up a 300-mile-long sea that stretched through much of the central part of California.

And it looks like another megaflood could one day inundate the state again.

For 43 days, from late 1861 to early 1862, it rained almost nonstop in central California. Rivers running down the Sierra Nevada mountains turned into torrents that swept entire towns away.

The storm was caused by an atmospheric river, a large concentration of water vapor that can cause devastating storms.

“[These storms] have the potential of hurricanes — or even more so because they go on for weeks,” Lucy Jones of the US Geological Survey told NPR.


More at the link


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