24 trillion gallons of water have drenched California, and storms aren’t over – the Washington Post

Powerful storm waves roll into Seacliff State Beach on Thursday between the Cement Ship and the heavily damaged pier © 2023 Shmuel Thaler - Santa Cruz Sentinel

Since late December, California has seen it all. More than a foot of rain has come down in the lowlands, with eight feet of snow in the Sierra Nevada. For the state as a whole, the equivalent of about 24 trillion gallons of water has poured down from the sky — or an average of more than 8.5 inches of rain over every acre.

It’s not just water that has blasted the state. Winds nearing hurricane force have torn from the coast to the Central Valley and into the mountains, downing untold numbers of trees and cutting power to hundreds of thousands. A tornado danced south of Sacramento.

At least 18 people have died in the onslaught of storms, and it’s not over yet…

Maps and charts show the awful impact of the California storms – the Washington Post

The latest in a series of atmospheric rivers drenching the state was accompanied by hazardous winds and left thousands of people without power (by NASA earth observatory)

A parade of storms known as atmospheric rivers has dumped massive amounts of rain and snow on California since late December. The storms have produced deadly flooding, crippling snow, dangerous mudslides, severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.

Atmospheric rivers funnel extreme amounts of moisture over the oceans into narrow bands of clouds. As these clouds are transported over land, they can produce many hours of intense rain and snow…

In Santa Cruz, the deluge came from the skies and the sea – The Washington Post

Waves breaking along Westcliff Drive, Santa Cruz, CA © 2023 Gary Griggs

The California college town has faced wildfires in recent years. Now it’s adjusting to the reality of floods.
The surfers were loving it.
A set of waves was breaking Sunday just offshore from the main beach in this college town known for its mountain biking, laid-back atmosphere and famous surf spots. This wasn’t one of them, though. A parade of rainstorms had swelled the San Lorenzo River, pushing heaps of sand out of its mouth and building up a sandbar that was kicking up near-perfect waves…

On the Edge of Retreat (multimedia feature) – the Washington Post

Hog Island Wildlife Management Area in Surry County, Virginia. 2018 (by Chesapeake Bay Program CC BY-NC 2.0 via Flickr).

A century ago, about 250 people lived on Hog Island, a seven-mile expanse off the Virginia coast. They raised livestock and gathered oysters. They lived in a town called Broadwater, worked at the lighthouse and Coast Guard station, and danced at night in a social hall called the Red Onion.

But that was back when there was still soil beneath their feet…

Florida beaches were already running low on sand. Then Ian and Nicole hit – the Washington Post

Daytona Beach, 20022 (by Jim Allen CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 via Fliickr)

“I think we’re starting to discover that, despite our best efforts and wanting to throw as much money at this as possible, it has become very difficult to keep these beaches as wide as we would like to keep them,” Robert S. Young, a geology professor at Western Carolina University and director of the Program for Developed Shorelines… “We simply don’t have the capacity to hold all of these beaches in place.”