California Flooding 2017

Start Date

January 6, 2017

Overview

California, which has long been suffering through a strong, multi-year drought, is finally beginning to see some much needed relief as a result of a recent series of storms that are part of a weather pattern known as the “Pineapple Express.”

Though these rains are certainly welcome and very much needed, they have also led to flooding and mudslides. The first storm in the series arrived in the middle of last week and brought rain to northern and central California. The next storm occurred over the weekend and brought heavy rains again to mostly northern and central California although southern California also received significant amounts. This event lead to widespread flooding, down trees and mudslides, especially in the Sierra Nevada where hurricane force winds occurred and Interstate 80 was closed due to a massive mudslide. Blizzard, winter storm, high wind, and flood warnings are already in effect as the third plume of moisture in this series is already making its way through the interior part of the state where several feet of snow are expected in the Sierra Nevada.

Interactive ArcGIS MODIS and Landsat flood maps available here: http://gs6104oasl1.ndc.nasa.gov/arcgis/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=bf...

Disaster Types

Latest Updates

January 11, 2017
 ARIA Flood Proxy Map for the floods in Northern California and Nevada on January 8th, 2017.
 ARIA Flood Proxy Map for the floods in Northern California and Nevada on January 8th, 2017.  Flood Proxy Map (FPM) covering an area of 155-by-224 miles (250-by-360 km), derived from Sentinel-1's pre- (2016-12-15 6 PM PST) and during-the-event (2017-01-08 6 PM PST) Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) amplitude images. The colored pixels represent areas of potential flood (Red: flooded vegetation, Blue: open water flood). Different irrigation conditions on the two data...
February 23, 2017
IMERG rainfall estimates for the period from Feb. 15 at 00:30 UTC (Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m. EST) to Feb. 23 at 23:00 UTC (6 p.m. EST).
NASA has estimated rainfall from the Pineapple Express over the coastal regions southwestern Oregon and northern California from the series of storms in February, 2017. IMERG rainfall estimates for the period from Feb. 15 at 00:30 UTC (Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m. EST) to Feb. 23 at 23:00 UTC (6 p.m. EST). The initial surge was responsible for bringing part of the rainfall (up to about 2 to 3 inches) was seen over the coastal regions southwestern Oregon and northern California....
January 7, 2017
GOES and IMERG satellite image of atmospheric river hitting the US west coast.
Video of Atmospheric River Slams California   After more than four years of drought, Californians may wonder where the current rain is coming from. Using satellites, NASA scientists have a unique view of the sources of precipitation, and how it reaches the western United States. Rain is often carried by narrow tendrils of moisture called atmospheric rivers that occur all over the world, shown here in white. The atmospheric rivers that affect the western United States are known as the Pineapple Express because they transport water vapor from as far south as Hawaii to California...
January 9, 2017
This visible image of the storm system affecting the U.S. Pacific Coast was taken from NOAA's GOES-West satellite on Jan. 9, 2017 at 8:35 a.m. EST (1345 UTC). Credits: NASA/NOAA GOES Project
Extreme rain events have been affecting California and snow has blanketed the Pacific Northwest. NASA/NOAA's GOES Project created a satellite animation showing the storms affecting the region from January 6 through 9, 2017, and NASA's Aqua satellite captured a look at the snowfall.  This visible image of the storm system affecting the U.S. Pacific Coast was taken from NOAA's GOES-West satellite on Jan. 9, 2017 at 8:35 a.m. EST (1345 UTC). Credits: NASA/NOAA GOES Project At NASA's...
January 13, 2017
CIRA total precipitable water
The state of California has been suffering from a multi-year drought that has severely depleted water resources and reservoir levels. Recent winters have failed to produce precipitation and mountain snows to replenish the losses during the dry summers. However, the situation has rapidly changed this winter, particularly in the past week when multiple atmospheric rivers have impacted the state. An atmospheric river is a concentrated channel of deep moisture that is transported from the tropical Pacific Oceanic regions to the West Coast of the United States.  These events are often associated...
January 12, 2017
GPM IMERG precipitation accumulation from 1/7/17 - 1/10/17.
GPM IMERG precipitation accumulation from 1/7/17 - 1/10/17. Click here to view an animated GIF. An atmospheric river has been flooding California and other parts of the western United States with rain and snow for nearly a week. Precipitation could be measured in feet rather than inches in some locations, and rivers and valleys...
January 10, 2017
MODIS flood map for California flooding January 2017
Static MODIS flood maps are available here: http://oas.gsfc.nasa.gov/floodmap/getTile.php?location=130W040N&day=11&year=2017&product=2 Interactive ArcGIS MODIS and Landsat flood maps available here: ...
January 11, 2017
GFMS flood detection map from January 8th 2017
Northern and Central California are under flood threat from an "atmospheric river" in the Pacific.  Some flooding has already occurred.  Rainfall forecasts below show a pattern extending from ocean and the effect of orography.  A forecasted flood pattern from GFMS for Sat., Sun. and Monday is shown in next three figures. The last chart shows forecasted streamflow on American River upstream from Sacramento (near Fair Oaks streamgauge, 38.57N, 121.36W) showing very high values peaking on Monday, but with continuing high values after that (75 cu. m/s is flood...
January 11, 2017
TMPA rainfall anomalies for the one month period ending on 10 January 2017
California, which has long been suffering through a strong, multi-year drought, is finally beginning to see some much needed relief as a result of a recent series of storms that are part of a weather pattern known as the “Pineapple Express.” The Pineapple Express is known as an atmospheric river. A large, slow-moving low pressure center off of the West Coast taps into tropical moisture originating from as far south as the Hawaiian Islands. This moisture is then channeled northeast by the subtropical jet steam towards the West Coast where the topography aids in squeezing out the moisture as...