California Pummeled by Storms and Bracing for “Parade of Cyclones”

Torrential downpours and damaging winds had left hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses without power in California on Sunday, and watching for more heavy rain and snow to fall through Tuesday.

Forecasters from the National Weather Service promised little relief for the northern and central California regions in a “relentless parade of atmospheric rivers.”

The first of heavier storms is set to arrive on Monday, with flood watches due to 6 to 12 inches of rain expected through Wednesday in the Sacramento-area foothills.

Two overlapping phenomena – an immense airborne stream of dense moisture from the ocean called an atmospheric river and a sprawling, hurricane-force low-pressure system known as a bomb cyclone – have caused devastating flooding and record snowfall over the past week. The latest storms vividly illustrated the consequences of warmer sea and air temperatures caused by climate change.


Wind speeds topped out at nearly 70 miles per hour on Saturday night and early Sunday morning in the Sacramento area. At least one person was killed, a homeless woman struck by a falling tree, the Sacramento Fire Department said.

Power was knocked out for more than 300,000 customers.