What California's Rainstormageddon Looked Like from Space
The California storm rolling off the Pacific Ocean on Feb. 28 as monitored by the NOAA.
A snow-covered statue of George Cohen looks over Times Square on Feb. 13. A winter storm dumped up to 10 inches of snow in New York City.
Snow falls in front of the U.S. Capitol building on Feb. 13, 2014 in Washington, D.C.
A person walks two kids to school during the snowstorm in New York City on Feb. 13. Despite official calls to otherwise stay at home, city schools remained open during the storm.
A worker clears snow from a sidewalk in Chevy Chase, Md., in the early hours of Feb. 13, 2014.
As the latest winter storm blasts the East Coast of the U.S., millions of people are facing another day of freezing conditions that have triggered school and government office closures and thousands of cancelled flights. Seen here, the U.S. aircraft carrier Intrepid is surrounded by floating ice on the Hudson River in New York.
A family surveys downed trees on their street, the results of the rare winter ice storm that swept across the South on Feb. 12, 2014 in Summerville, S.C.
Big, dirty piles of snow and ice, have collected throughout numerous snow storms this season, on the street in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York. Because of the cold weather the ice and snow has not melted and the city has left these deposits.
Atlanta roads prepare for the onslaught of a significant winter storm. The National Weather Service said, "The ice accumulations remain mind-boggling, if not historical."
Icicles form on a trash can as freezing rain falls in Augusta, Ga., on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. Atlanta has a half-inch of ice and South Carolina is expecting up to an inch of ice by Thursday night.
The ice storm brought downtown Atlanta, Georgia, to a standstill as the temperatures continued to drop.
A GOES Satellite image shows the huge winter storm in the Southeastern United States. The storm will get colder as it moves slowly up the coast, dumping up to 10 inches of snow on Washington, D.C., and a foot on New York City.
The meat case at a local Greenville, Ga., supermarket is completely bare as residents on Tuesday braced for the impending storm.
It rained in Los Angeles. No kidding, I was shocked too. Three days without so much as a ray of sun, this transplanted Brit was beginning to feel right at home — wet and dreaming of a sunny day.
The topic of rainstorms in Southern California occupy a disproportionate number of headlines in the local news, and the weight of its importance is inflated further more by superlatives. (I’m surprised the Great California Storm of 2014 wasn’t nicknamed “Rainstormageddon” — you can use that next year. You’re welcome, news anchors.) Indeed it’s wise not to go driving around Los Angeles with poor visibility and slick roads, but I’m always entertained to see how the wet stuff falling from the sky is met with the same shock and awe that greets a sunny day in the United Kingdom.
The rain storm that slammed into the West Coast last last week and persisted until Sunday (at least from my location north of LA) dropped an incredible amount of rain and was the biggest storm to hit the region for three years. Weather forecasters estimated that between 6-10″ of rain fell on the coasts, valleys and mountains throughout LA County from Friday morning to Saturday night. For a state that is undergoing its third year of drought conditions, any rain is welcomed — but for it all to fall in 3 days was a little too much for the local populous.
“For those of you watching around the world, it has been a tough couple of days for us here,” joked a deadpan Ellen DeGeneres during the opening of the Oscars on Sunday night in Hollywood. “It’s been raining. We’re fine. Thank you for your prayers.”
Compared to the repeated freezing winter storms that have been hitting the East Coast, this intense burst of inclement Californian weather has likely been mocked by the rest of the US — but these views of the storm from space shows that this was no small event.
NOAA's GOES-West took this image of a storm off the coast of California.NOAA
The storm, which dipped to a central pressure of 975 mb, had all the hallmarks of a hurricane but it was in fact an intense mid-latitude storm. As shown in the animation, the rainfall across the state was intense, causing flash flood warnings and dangerously high surf. The flooding threat became very real locally when homeowners near recent wildfire burn areas faced evacuation warnings.