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Tuesday, Feb 07th

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Thousands flee homes, death toll rises as endless storms slam California

Thousands flee California stormsThousands of Californians fled their homes, and the death toll from the wave of devastating storms rose to 14 as the latest "atmospheric river" slammed a wide swath of the state with gale-force winds and more than a foot of rain.

"The endless onslaught of potent systems with atmospheric rivers of moisture continue to inundate California," the National Weather Service said in a statement. "Torrential rain, widespread flooding, rapid water rises, mudslides and landslides with possible debris flows, heavy mountain snow and gusty high winds all remain threats to the Golden State."

Farther south, about 10,000 residents in and around the Santa Barbara County community of Montecito were ordered to evacuate. The town, about 90 miles east of Los Angeles, was the site of mudslides five years ago that killed 23.

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'Relentless parade of cyclones' to bring rain, renewed flood risk to California

California cyclones

Storm-weary California will get little in the way of reprieve this weekend, as the latest in a series of powerful winter storms has already trained its eye on the state.

In a bulletin published Saturday, the National Weather Service warned of a "relentless parade of cyclones" barreling out of the Pacific toward California, which was expected to renew the risk of flooding in some parts of the state this weekend.

Heavy rain and mountain snow were expected to begin late Friday night in Northern California, spreading to Central California on Saturday.

The weather service's Monterey office issued a flood watch advisory beginning at 4 p.m. Saturday and continuing through Tuesday for areas including San Francisco, Santa Clara, Monterey, Big Sur, the Carmel Valley, San Benito County, Pinnacles National Park, Los Padres National Forest and much of Central California.

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Utah's Great Salt Lake Could Dry Up Within 5 Years, Scientists Warn

Great Salt Lake

Utah’s Great Salt Lake, the largest saltwater lake in the Western hemisphere, could dry up completely within five years if water consumption is not significantly curbed, researchers warn.

“The lake’s ecosystem is not only on the edge of collapse. It is collapsing,” Benjamin Abbott, a professor of ecology at Brigham Young University and the lead author of a new report on the lake, told CNN. “The choices we make over the next few months will affect our state and ecosystems throughout the West for decades to come.”

The lake’s levels have been at record lows for two years in a row. If the water continues to drop at the same rate that it has since 2020, “the lake as we know it is on track to disappear in five years,” the report states.

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Back-to-back storms in California drop deluge of rain and snow with more ahead

Back to back storms in CarolinaHurricane-strength gusts as high as 101mph (162kph) toppled trees onto buildings and roads, knocked out power lines and blew down the roof on a gas station in South San Francisco.

National Weather Service meteorologist Warren Blier said the wind speed recorded on a Marin county hilltop was among the highest he could recall in a 25-year career.

The storm was powered by 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.

The blast of extreme winter weather marked the third and strongest atmospheric river to strike California since early last week. Research predicts that climate change will cause atmospheric rivers to become larger and carry more water.

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A third atmospheric river storm is set to add to misery in California's flooded areas

California floods

Forecasters in Northern California have a sobering new-year message for people who are reeling from floods and mudslides: the situation could get worse before it gets better.

Parts of the state remained under flash flood warnings Monday morning, after a weather phenomenon known as an atmospheric river dropped historic rain levels on San Francisco, Oakland and other areas. But a second atmospheric river is predicted to arrive soon — and it will be as bad or worse than the New Year's Eve deluge, forecasters warn.

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‘Extreme event’: warm January weather breaks records across Europe

Warm weather across Europe

Weather records have been falling across Europe at a disconcerting rate in the last few days, say meteorologists.

The warmest January day ever was recorded in at least eight European countries including Poland, Denmark, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Belarus, Lithuania and Latvia, according to data collated by Maximiliano Herrera, a climatologist who tracks extreme temperatures.

In Korbielów, Poland, the mercury hit 19C (66F) – a temperature the Silesian village is more used to in May, and 18C above the 1C annual average for January. In Javorník in the Czech Republic it was 19.6C, compared with an average of 3C for this time of year.

Temperatures in Vysokaje, Belarus, would normally hover around zero at this time of year. On Sunday they reached 16.4C, beating the country’s previous record January high by 4.5C.

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Magnitude 5.4 earthquake strikes northern California

California 5.4 earthquakeA 5.4-magnitude earthquake struck 15 km (9.3 miles) southeast of California's Rio Dell region, an area still recovering from a powerful earthquake last month.

The latest earthquake was at a depth of 27.8 km, the U.S. Geological Survey said on Sunday.

The California Department of Transportation said in a Twitter post that State Route 211 at Fernbridge was closed while it conducted safety inspections on the bridge following the tremor.

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