This is your warning - Scientists predict Biblical flood for California
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California is known for sunny weather, even in the winter. That has made the state one of the greatest destinations for people looking to move or to vacation. But the state also has a dark side which few people know about. Yes, there are earthquakes, but even at their worst, these just do local damage. However, there are bigger disasters few people know about.
An ARk Storm could turn many places in central California into lakefront property within days.
LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- If you live in California, you know about the natural hazards of the Golden State. Earthquakes are the most notorious disasters and among the most feared. But quakes rarely do much damage and when they do, the damage is usually confined to a small region.
California also suffers from drought. Drought is probably the state's most expensive, but least deadly disaster. Most of the harm is done to agriculture.
But there is one more disaster that few Californians know about, and it's much worse than an earthquake or a drought. It's an ARk storm, and it brings with it a flood of biblical proportions. Although only one ARk storm has hit the state in recorded history, evidence suggests they occur regularly, and we are due for another.
An ARk storm is short for an Atmospheric River Storm. Each year, an average of nine atmospheric rivers from in the waters around Hawaii, and transport moisture to across the Pacific to California in a narrow band of clouds perhaps a couple hundred miles wide. These plumes of moisture are literally rivers in the sky, moving about five to 16 times the volume of water in the Mississippi River as vapor. Californians call this phenomenon the "Pineapple Express."
When the Pineapple Express reaches California and hits the mountains, it drops its rain.
So far, in the winter of 2016-2017, the state has experienced 30 atmospheric rivers, more than triple its average. But it can get a lot more serious than that.
An ARkstorm scenario shows how devastating the flooding could become.
Scientists at the University of San Diego have discovered a pattern in California's weather. Their studies revealed that every 200 years or so, California is hit with a massive storm of biblical proportions. A portion of the state's central valley is turned into a lake, 300 miles long and 20 miles wide.
The last time this happened was in 1861-1862, when it started raining in late December and continued for 43 days. The central valley was so inundated that thousands of people died and the state capitol was moved from Sacramento to San Francisco. A quarter of the property in the state was destroyed.
This year, Californians have seen what a few days of steady rain can do to their infrastructure. Imagine what would happen after 40 days of rain? Several dams would fail, and that would only be the start of the disaster.
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So much water would flood the state it would destroy commerce, transportation, and millions of homes. Water levels would not likely abate for months. The nationwide impact on food prices alone would be catastrophic.
We now know such floods happen, but nobody knows why. Even the present rainy season is paltry compared to what will happen someday soon. But these storms are so rare, they cannot be predicted and without the ability to predict the disaster, Californians will simply have to take the risk.
Is 2017 a precursor of things to come? Yes it is, just nobody knows when.
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