Why Was It Raining So Much?


George Hodan

Raining in the street

Henrikch Aguisando, Reporter

During the past couple of weeks California has been getting pelted by the extreme downpour. The main thing most people are wondering is, “Why are we getting so much rain?”. The answer to that question is called an atmospheric river.

Atmospheric rivers are akin rivers in the sky that dump insane amounts of rain. These are typically formed in the winter by cold air masses colliding with warm air masses. This creates large precipitation build up which eventually dumps down. To add on to this, these rivers are made larger by climate change. A study by researchers say that due to climate change creating warmer temperatures, these rivers last 25 percent longer and contain 25 percent more water.

The atmospheric rivers may seem like a good thing because California is usually dried up. The problem is that due to the ongoing drought, the state does not have many options in storing water. When this large amount of water inevitably pours, the soil and reservoirs are not able to contain it. This leaves so much water left, that it  causes flooding which makes travel unsafe, power outages in some neighborhoods, the destruction of property and infrastructure and even the loss of life.

With that said, these atmospheric rivers have actually benefited California. We have been caught up in a drought that would be considered the second to worst level of drought.The massive rainfall in the past few weeks is pulling the state out of extreme drought.