(KTXL) — An atmospheric river made landfall in California Wednesday, the same day that weather conditions over the Pacific Ocean transformed it into a “bomb cyclone,” a weather phenomenon that is similar to a weak hurricane.
Although the bomb cyclone is centered hundreds of miles off of the Northern California coast, its outer edges are over the state.
The storm battering Central and Northern California on Wednesday is the third to hit the state since Dec. 27, according to state officials.
The winds will become stronger Wednesday evening and night, with gusts blowing between 45 to 60 mph in the Central Valley.
Residents and drivers are advised by the NWS to stay clear of trees and downed power lines. It’s also recommended to maintain a safe distance from high-profile vehicles.
According to the National Weather Service, a bomb cyclone is simply a storm that gets very strong very quickly. It drops at least 24 mb (a unit of pressure) in 24 hours. The lower the pressure, the stronger the storm.
Photos from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show the approaching storm.
The National Weather Service also warned that the atmospheric river, which is connected to the bomb cyclone, would possibly cause flooding, mudslides, wind gusts topping 50 mph and “extremely heavy snow rates” to the mountains.
Parts of California have only barely recovered from the most recent storm. Photos of downed trees, homes without power and flooded roadways were not uncommon.
Some local officials, such as Sacramento County and Stockton, even closed down parks to the public in anticipation of falling trees being a hazard, and some Bay Area schools ended classes early on Wednesday and advised students that classes would be canceled the following day.