an ‘atmospheric river’ is set to soak much of california

Headline |

UCLA’s Daniel Swain in Popular Science: Here’s what a ‘very likely’ sequel to California’s 1862 megastorm would look like

The Great Flood, unleashed 10 feet of rain and snow over California in 43 days at the end of 1861 and the start of 1862. The precipitation formed an inland sea that stretched 300 miles down the Central Valley and as much as 60 miles wide. At least 21 people died, the state declared bankruptcy, and, Cox says, “it drowned so many cattle” that California changed from a predominantly ranching economy to the agricultural salad bowl we know today.

Based on the most robust data, says Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, there’s a 50-50 chance of another ARkStorm pummeling California again by 2060.