Publication Date January 23, 2017

Record-breaking rainfall hits Southern California

United States

The third in a series of powerful winter storms hit Southern California on Sunday, January 22, 2017, with record-breaking rainfall. The storm downed trees, flooded numerous roads and freeways, caused new mudslides and rockslides, and stranded people in rising waters. At least one person has died in the storm, expected to be the strongest in last 7 years.

Evacuation orders were issued for burn areas in Glendora, Duarte, Silverado Canyon in Orange County and parts of Santa Barbara County before the storm hit. According to the Los Angeles Times, the storms hit Sunday afternoon (local) time and the coastal areas of Los Angeles County were among the hardest hit.

A record rainfall of 98.29 mm (3.97 inches) was measured at Long Beach Airport. This broke the old record of 52.32 mm (2.06 inches) set in 1967, and also set an all-time daily rainfall record for Long Beach Airport. The previous all-time record was 95.25 mm (3.75 inches) set on January 4, 1995.

A record rainfall of 70.61 mm (2.78 inches) was set at Los Angeles Airport Sunday. This broke the old record of 49.27 mm (1.94 inches) set in 1983.

Camarillo also broke its record with 70.86 mm (2.79 inches). The previous record of was 26.92 mm (1.06 inches) set in 1997.

In Orange County, many places received between 50.8 and 88.9 mm (2 and 3.5 inches) of rain within 6 hours.

A new wave height record was set in the Monterey Bay on Saturday with 10.39 m (34.12 feet). The previous record was 9.99 m (32.8 feet), set in 2008, the NWS said. The remains of a historic WWI-era concrete ship docked near Santa Cruz, the S.S. Palo Alto, were torn apart.

The strongest wind gusts were reported in Camp Nine 133.6 km/h (83 mph), Chilao 101.4 km/h (63 mph), Grass Mtn 99.8 km/h (62 mph), and Lake Palmdale 95 km/h (59 mph).