Last week, California was facing a water shortage. Now Mother Nature has sent the dry state a very large cyclone off the coast of California to brew in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Saturated mountainsides loomed over foothill communities on Saturday as a storm centered off California rotated bands of rain into a state that sorely needs the moisture but not at such dangerously high rates.
Evacuation orders remained in effect for hundreds of homes in Los Angeles County foothill communities where fires have burned away vegetation that holds soil in place, and bursts of rain caused the mountains to belch occasional debris flows.
Officials warned that despite lengthy lulls the forecast called for more heavy downpours and they urged residents who left their homes as much as three days earlier to be patient.
Extratropical cyclones, sometimes called mid-latitude cyclones or wave cyclones, are a group of cyclones defined as synoptic scale low pressure weather systems that occur in the middle latitudes of the Earth (outside the tropics) not having tropical characteristics, and are connected with fronts and horizontal gradients in temperature and dew point otherwise known as “baroclinic zones”.
These mid-latitude cyclones usually form anywhere within the extratropical regions of the Earth (usually between 30° and 60° latitude from the equator), either through cyclogenesis or extratropical transition from westerly winds.
Cyclone Off the Coast of California
This water vapor satellite imagery loop shows the evolution of an impressive extra tropical cyclone off the coast of California on 2/28/14-3/1/14. This loop was made using College of Dupage’s Next Generation Weather Lab (http://weather.cod.edu/satrad/).
The Associated Press also contributed to this report.