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Storm strikes California; flooding fears stretch from Oklahoma to Ohio: Weather forecast

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MARCH 23, 2023

Clouds pass above the snow-covered Sierra Nevada mountains in the wake of an atmospheric river event which brought heavy snow to higher elevations on March 12, near Mammoth Lakes, California. – Getty Images

California has already faced significant storms this week, with parts of the Golden State continuing to see snow and rain on Thursday.

The powerful storm is expected to move into the Southwest after colliding into California.

  • Multiple people have died in the state as the storm hit the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • An Amtrak commuter train with 55 passengers struck a tree that had been downed and derailed near Port Costa, California. Nobody was injured in the incident.
  • Meanwhile, some residents of north-central Arizona were told to prepare to evacuate over rising water levels in the area.

The storm in California also comes as thunderstorms are sweeping across more more than a half-dozen states in the South and Midwest, prompting flood watches in the areas.

Here’s what you need to know.   

A bomb cyclone in California  

A bomb cyclone has hit California in recent days, bringing heavy rain and major winds, AccuWeather meteorologists explained.

  • What’s a bomb cyclone? Bombogenesis, a term more commonly used by meteorologists, can happen when a cyclone “rapidly intensifies, or strengthens, over a 24 hour period,” according to the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration.
  • Bombogenesis “can happen when a cold air mass collides with a warm air mass, such as air over warm ocean waters.”

The winds, rain and snow in California continued to prompt warnings and advisories in the state on Thursday.

A winter weather advisory is in effect in parts of northern California, extending into Friday. Snow accumulations of up to 10 inches is expected in western Plumas County and nearby areas.

In western Siskiyou County, a winter weather advisory is also in effect into Friday, with snow accumulations of up to a foot expected at higher elevations. Winds could also gust up to 40 mph.

The winds and snow come as a possible tornado landed in the city of Montebello in Southern California, with the National Weather service assessing the rare weather.

Thunderstorms sweep from Oklahoma to Ohio, bringing flooding fears  

Major thunderstorms are prompting a flood watch across a swath of country from Oklahoma to Ohio on Thursday.

The storms will “become a significant concern” beginning Thursday afternoon and continuing through Friday for parts of the southern Plains, Mississippi Valley and the South, according to the National Weather Service.  

States under the flood watch on Thursday include:  

  • Arkansas
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Missouri
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma

Rainfall of up to 5 inches is possible in some places. Excessive runoff may cause flooding of rivers and streams, the weather service warned, and people who live in areas prone to flooding should be “prepared to take action.”

Storms are expected to continue in the coming days. Areas from east of Houston to Nashville should also prepare for gusty thunderstorms Friday, according to AccuWeather meteorologists.  


Courtesy/Source: AP / This article originally appeared on USA TODAY