It was an unusual sight at the tail end of one of California’s strangest weather weeks to date: a massive tropical storm system over Southland.
satellite imageCaptured Saturday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, Tropical Storm Kay is shown hovering over the coast of Southern California and Mexico’s Baja Peninsula — an image that typically engulfs the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and other warm climates. attached to parts of water. ,
Although Kay never made landfall in the state, “it was certainly closer to us than I can remember,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Wofford in Oxnard.
Wofford said it would take some time for officials to analyze the full extent of the storm, including its final size and cumulative effects. But Brandt Maxwell, a meteorologist with the Weather Service in San Diego, said, “It’s not strange to say that the impacts covered an area 1,000 miles wide.”
Among those effects were significant rainfall, strong winds and dangerous debris flows across the region. In San Diego County, the storm dropped more than 5 inches of rain on Mount Laguna, most of which fell on Friday, Maxwell said.
The Los Angeles area saw less rainfall overall — most areas recording 1.5 inches or less by the end of the weekend — but Sandberg saw some daily records, including 0.32 inches, on Sunday. What’s more, dozens of stranded motorists had to be rescued from the Hughes Lake area on Sunday after rain from the storm contributed to debris flows and muddy conditions.
Maxwell said flash flood warnings have been in place for parts of Southern California through Monday, but the storm is “gradually weakening.”
“Not so much LA, but in areas south and east like Orange County, Inland Empire and San Diego County, it’s bringing a lot of cloud cover,” he said. “We have a chance of thunderstorms this afternoon, mainly over the mountains, but it looks like things will be less affected on Tuesday and Wednesday.”
Officials said that although the storm was not enough to end a heavy drought in the state, it did help reduce the fierce Fairview fire in Riverside County.
This left residents with one of the more indelible images of the season.
“Now that’s a satellite view you don’t see every day,” wrote one Reddit user post about image,
UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain shared a similar sentiment in his blog, weather west,
“It is quite rare to see intact tropical cyclones to the north and east along the Pacific coast of North America,” Swain wrote. “There are only a few other instances in living memory in which tropical storms or greater-strength storms have approached SoCal.”