The Madeleine Brand Show for January 17, 2011

California's next big one: massive winter storm to rival a hurricane?

Mercer 13904

M. Dettinger/USGS

On October 14, 2009 an atmospheric river channeled water vapor across nearly the entire width of the ocean basin, to deposit copious rains over the central coast of California.

A big earthquake? California emergency responders are ready. But the US Geological Survey says we face almost the same risk from another kind of natural disaster: massive winter storms on the scale of hurricanes. How significant is the threat? Lucy Jones joins us with more on ARkStorm, a new USGS project to learn more about massive winter storms.

ARkStorm Scenario via USGS.

Visualization of water vapor (atmospheric rivers) hitting California coastline in the ARkStorm Scenario.


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