Southern California Hit by Second Consecutive Atmospheric River

    Southern California Hit by Second Consecutive Atmospheric River
    Photo: Mario Tama/Staff/Getty Images News via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • Southern California on Monday was hit by a second consecutive rain storm known as an "atmospheric river" — a narrow collection of moisture that collects over the ocean and can stretch for long distances across the sky — putting 1.4M people in the Los Angeles area under a flash-flood warning and causing flooded roadways and a loss of electrical power.

    • Last week, the first atmospheric river hit Northern California with winds of up to 60 mph (96 km/hr) knocking down trees and electrical lines. In the mountains, some wind gusts exceeded 80 mph (128 km/hr).


    The Spin

    Left narrative

    What was once seen as a weather event that would happen once in a thousand years has now happened in consecutive months, and anthropogenic climate change is to blame. The oceans have warmed to record levels and are now combining with El Niño to create these catastrophic weather events. This is why it's time for those on the right side of the political aisle to take climate change seriously.

    Right narrative

    A little more than a year ago, the Golden State was relieved that several atmospheric rivers cured its historic drought. So, now that the climate has shifted to rainier winters, it's time for left-wing politicians who are too focused on an amorphous term like climate change — and the suggestion to harm energy security — to put more effort into building the physical infrastructure to mitigate harms from wetter weather.

    Nerd narrative

    There's an 80% chance that the US will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement before Jan. 1, 2029, if a Republican wins the 2024 US presidential election, according to the Metaculus prediction community.


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