Photo Credit: Gregory Bull/AP
A tropical storm is wreaking havoc in southern California, causing loss of life and property. On Friday, torrential rains and strong gusts were felt, potentially causing flooding and power outages. On the other side, the impacted areas were relieved of the high temperatures they had been battling for over ten days as a result of a heat wave.
Last Thursday, Hurricane Kay made landfall in Baja California Sur, according to the National Weather Service. Fortunately, the hurricane weakened shortly after it made landfall. However, the tropical storm had winds of up to 109 mph (175 kph).
Firefighters are concerned that the hurricane battering Southern California could bring strong winds that would escalate the Fairview fire, located 121 kilometers southeast of Los Angeles. However, the crew could suppress the fire and indicated that the team would have totally controlled the fire by Monday. The fire threatened almost 10,000 dwellings and other structures, and hundreds remain in evacuation camps.
The cyclone came at a perfect time after the area had experienced a heat wave that caused temperatures to rise past 100 degrees Fahrenheit, or 38 degrees Celsius. Unfortunately, the blazing heat also struck San Diego. On another note, he hurricane turned up and offered them some temporary reprieve from the heat.
“The heat was killer, so for now, this feels good. I just hope the water doesn’t get too high. But I will rough it. I’ve got pallets I can put underneath to keep out the rain.”
Residents are concerned that, despite the relief provided by the rain, there are risks associated with severe rainfall. When a twin-engine jet landed at the Naval Air Station North Island in Colorado, it drifted past the runway. The plane was damaged, and the two pilots on board were transported to the hospital for examination.
Several sections of Southern California received significant rain, possibly heavier downpours throughout the weekend. Flooding, according to authorities, is very likely if the rains continue. In addition, coastal towns and low-lying residences have been warned to be on the lookout for probable evacuation plans if the sea level rises to the normal level.
Intense heat affecting part of California
The month of September has been the warmest on record in Western states, including California. The heat waves in the area were also the longest on record. As a result, the occurrence strained electricity systems, causing prices to skyrocket. As a result, numerous districts with more than 54 million population were issued severe heat advisories and warnings this week.
Last Tuesday, Sacramento, California’s state capital, hit a high of 116 degrees Fahrenheit (46.7 degrees Celsius), the hottest in nearly 79 years. Meanwhile, Salt Lake City broke the 40-degree Celsius mark, with temperatures reaching 41.6 degrees Celsius (107 degrees Fahrenheit).
Power grids are affected
The intense temperature and rainfall have caused damage to various infrastructures across many states, particularly electricity networks. As the heat persists, businesses and families must enhance the capacity of their air conditioning systems to combat the oppressive heat outside. As a result, electricity consumption and demand skyrocketed, resulting in blackouts since power networks couldn’t keep up.
Climate change has led Western countries to grow warmer and drier in just thirty years, according to researchers. The situation simply raises the chances of more devastating and violent flames. In fact, within five years, California had the most catastrophic wildfire in its history.
For instance, the Mosquito Fire in eastern Sacramento has grown twice and now threatens more than 3,600 homes in El Dorado and Placer counties. It has consumed a total of 46 square miles (119 square kilometers) of property.
Opinions expressed by US Insider contributors are their own.