The storms are now rolling in, and bringing some severe weather with them.
We don’t normally get electrical storms in LA, and so far we’ve had two days with thunder and lightning, with more likely. (Normally we would see maybe one electrical storm every few years, to give you some idea.)
We’ve also had two minor tornadoes, both causing minor damage (these are nothing like the half mile wide monsters that take out entire communities elsewhere in the US.)
The rain has been falling very heavily at times (between two and three inches per hour), sufficiently so that some hillside areas are already waterlogged. Apparently it takes 72 hours of rain for some areas to become waterlogged, and thus for 72 hours after the rain has stopped, the risk of a massive mud- or landslide persists.
So far some areas have been served with mandatory evacuations (1,000 homes or so) – but mandatory here means that residents have the option of ignoring the advice to get out now (and some do). The expectation is that the evacuees will need to be out of the house for around five days – because the current waves of storms are not expected to abate until next week.
Speaking of waves, we’ve got surf advisories already for waves of up to 20 feet – normally, 2-3 feet is the best that surfers can hope for in many places. You can be sure some surfers will ignore the safety advice and be out there, trying to ride the monsters.
So far I think the death toll from the storms stands at about 4, mostly people who have been crushed by falling trees. At least two were asleep in bed at the time and probably never knew what hit them.
We have a hulking great mountain right beside us (well, about 2,100 feet – Mount Cahuenga) and so far it seems to have resisted attempts by the rain to get it to slide down into the Oakwood apartments. However, a few years back we did have a major brush fire (two in fact), which stripped surface vegetation and thus exposed the topsoil to being eroded by heavy rain. So we may yet have some mudslides very local to us.
I’d publish some images of the mess we have now, but apart from the fact that the authorities are asking people to stay away from the high risk areas, it’s raining and it’s cold and very wet.
I’ll try to find some images available online in due course. Meanwhile, here’s how our cats are taking it: