February 18 2017
California was enduring a mammoth rain storm called “Lucifer” or “weather bomb” that began gathering steam on February 17, flooding streets, causing death and injury, and trapping motorists in sinkholes.
How much rain is expected to fall before “Lucifer” wanes? Ten trillion gallons, according to a meteorologist. On Friday, there were already reports of flooding, people stuck on freeways, trees falling on roofs, people injured and killed, and evacuations.
Two people had died as of February 17 – one from electrocution, and one person found in a submerged car. In Los Angeles County, two cars toppled into a sinkhole and police and fire officials staged a dramatic rescue. You can watch videos of it here.
According to BBC, Lucifer is expected to be “one of the strongest storms possibly in decades” and is also being called a “bombogenesis” or “weather bomb.” The San Jose Mercury-News reports that the storm is technically “a rapidly deepening extratropical cyclonic low-pressure area.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. So Much Water Is Expected to Fall on the State That It Could Power Niagara Falls For Months
Meteorologist Ryan Maue, who is based in Georgia, told The Los Angeles Times that 10 trillion gallons of water are expected to fall on California. How much is that exactly? He put it in this perspective:
“Ten trillion gallons of water is enough to fill 15.1 million Olympic-sized swimming pools or power Niagara Falls for 154 days,” the newspaper reported.
That much water also fell on the state in 2014, though, Maue told the Times. The metereologist predicted that “an average of 3.3 inches of rain will fall across the state from February 15 to February 22,” according to The Times.
2. It’s Unusual For a ‘Bombogenesis’ to Strike California
Two dozen flights were cancelled already at LAX because of the storm, reported Patch. The news site reported that hundreds of other flights were delayed.
3. Maps Show the Squall Line Pretty Much Extending the Length of the California Coast
Power outages were also reported throughout the state, affecting more than 61,000 customers
Sun, Juno, The Floods and The Drought
Solar Storm Watch: A Huge Hole has Opened in the Sun’s Atmosphere / Earth Eclipses the Sun
An unusually wide and sinuous hole has opened in the sun’s atmosphere, and it is stretching like a gash across the sun’s entire southern hemisphere. NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory photographed the structure using false-color ultraviolet telescopes on Feb. 18th.
Solar wind flowing from this coronal hole could buffet Earth’s magnetic field, off and on, for the next two weeks. Much of the material will pass to the south of Earth, mitigating its impact. However, even the glancing effects of a two-week solar wind event could support a sustained display of polar auroras.
A G1 (Minor) geomagnetic storm warning is in effect for 18-19 of Feb. due to influence from a positive-polarity coronal hole high-speed stream.
Solar Wind Speed: 544 km/sec
Solar Wind Magnetic Fields: Bt 6 nT, Bz 3 nT
.24 hr Summary…
Solar activity was very low. Region 2636 (N11E27, Cro/beta) produced two B1 flares at 17/0932 UTC and 17/0956 UTC. Slight growth was observed in Region 2636 over the period. No Earth-directed CMEs were observed in available coronagraph imagery.
Solar activity is expected to be at very low levels with a slight chance for an isolated C-flare over the next three days (18-20 Feb).
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