Torrential downpours and damaging winds left hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses without power in California early on Sunday as the area braced for the next onslaught of severe weather.
More than 560,000 homes were reported to be still without power in California as of 5.06am ET (10.06am GMT), according to data from PowerOutage.us.
At least six people have died in the severe weather since New Year’s weekend, including a toddler killed by a fallen redwood tree crushing a mobile home in northern California.
Forecasters have meanwhile warned yet another “atmospheric river” of dense, moist tropical air will clobber California on Monday with rain and mountain snow. That weather is just the first of five approaching atmospheric rivers – a stream of storms that will continue until about 19 January – arrived in the state this weekend.
An NWS weather alert on Saturday warned that the cumulative effect of successive heavy rain storms since late December could bring rivers to record high levels and cause flooding across much of central California.
The heavy recent rains have had a huge impact on the state and caused rivers and streams to overflow, sent floods down street and highways, and submerged vehicles, homes, and businesses. The storms have also whipped waves to historic heights along the California coast.
Drought-hit California had been on track for another dry winter until the stacked atmospheric rivers came into play. However, most experts believe the state will need a lot more water before the long-term drought could be considered meaningfully broken.