A powerful Pineapple Express atmospheric river is already hitting the West Coast. (No, not that Pineapple Express. It’s a totally different one.) It started making landfall in Northern California on Wednesday and is expected to drench all of Southern California starting from Thursday, Feb. 1st on through the weekend.
Steady rainfall, high winds, and possible flooding are predicted. Starting on Monday, Feb. 5th, there is at least a 70% chance of above normal precipitation levels for Central and Southern California. Additionally, even heavier hazardous rainfall is expected for Wednesday and Thursday next week, and this could potentially lead to flooding and landslides in some areas.
What is an atmospheric river?
By now you’ve definitely heard the term “atmospheric river” in the news a lot. An atmospheric river is a long, narrow area of precipitation in the sky carrying water vapor usually from the tropics. While they may sound almost romantic with the NOAA calling them “rivers in the sky”, they can actually do a lot of damage once they reach land because of the immense amount of precipitation they carry with them.
Why is it called Pineapple Express?
A Pineapple Express is a specific atmospheric river phenomenon where moisture picked up in Hawai’i is then brought to the West Coast. It’s called a Pineapple Express because pineapples are the most popular fruit from Hawai’i. Pineapple Express storms have the potential to carry as much as 10 to 15 inches of rain.
Rain and Flood Safety Tips from Ready L.A. County
- Avoid moving water. Do not drive or walk through moving water.
- Avoid risky areas. Stay away from streams, rivers, flood control channels, and other areas subject to sudden flooding.
- Stay informed. Listen to the radio or watch television for information and instructions from your local officials.
- Obey evacuation instructions. If you are told to evacuate, do so immediately.
- Get the full list of flood safety tips here!
Keep your eye on the National Weather Service website here for the latest updated forecasts and advisories. As always, be safe during rainy weather, and try to stay indoors if at all possible.