California bomb cyclone leaves at least 5 dead
At least five people have died after a "bomb cyclone" associated with an atmospheric river swept through California on Tuesday and Wednesday — unleashing heavy rain, powerful winds and at least one tornado.
Threat level: Tens of thousands of customers were still without power on Wednesday evening, mostly in the Bay Area — where meteorologists on Tuesday recorded data indicating the strongest-ever March storm, judging by atmospheric pressure. The threat of flooding and mudslides remained for several places.
The big picture: The National Weather Service's Los Angeles office confirmed a tornado had touched down in Montebello during the storm on Wednesday morning. Another tornado was reported in Carpinteria on Tuesday, with winds estimated up to 75 mph, per the agency.
- Tornadoes and bomb cyclones in both areas are rare and the NWS is assessing damages.
Zoom in: One person was killed and another was injured after a large tree fell onto a car in Walnut Creek, according to the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.
- Two people also died after being hospitalized in San Francisco on Tuesday in separate storm-related incidents, city officials said.
- Another person was killed when a tree fell onto his vehicle in San Mateo County, the Contra Costa County coroner’s office confirmed per the Los Angeles Times.
- A man was pronounced dead in Oakland Tuesday after a tree fell on the tent he was in near Lake Merritt, per the Times.
By the numbers: More than 61,000 customers were without power in the state on Wednesday evening, per utility tracker poweroutage.us.
Where it stands: Rain showers were expected to taper off Wednesday night, with some showers lingering into Thursday morning along the Central Coast and in the mountains, per an NWS forecast discussion.
- Another storm is possible next Tuesday and Wednesday, the weather service noted.
- This enables them to dump higher rain and snow totals.