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The Flash

Drought takes a Raincheck

Series of massive storms pummel California and end water shortages.

Connor Bolli

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To anyone living here, it’s no secret that California has been pounded by storms over recent weeks. Over a period of roughly one week, the state has been caught off-guard by the torrent; one area receiving over 20 inches of precipitation.

The storm is caused by something known as an “atmospheric river.” True to its name, this is an atmospheric channel of concentrated moisture moving in the sky.

Aside from the coziness of the weather, many are relieved by the storm due to its effects on the state’s drought. For 15 years, California has suffered a “megadrought,” progressively becoming more and more dry.

The last five years have been especially harsh, categorizing swathes of California territory as under drought. Practically overnight, the storm erased the long drought from the Northern California and significantly reduced its severity in the rest of the state.

In addition to the massive amount of rainfall over the week, more is predicted to come over the next few days, with another huge storm predicted for Sunday. This has raised concerns over flooding in the most heavily affected areas such as San Francisco and Las Vegas. Even desert areas of California are set to receive some rainfall.

Beyond the rain, another issue facing the state is snowfall. A huge amount of snowfall has blanketed the Sierra Nevada, impacting roads. This snowfall will also contribute over the course of spring and summer, melting into reservoirs and aqueducts.

While the risks of flooding should not be ignored, the water has generally been a great help to California’s water shortage, with most of the drought throughout the state being lessened or eliminated.

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Drought takes a Raincheck