The March 20th, 2023 forecast was yet another deluge, with an atmospheric river expected to arrive on Tuesday and peak on Wednesday. It would be the 12th atmospheric river to hit the region since late December – an unusually high number that has left residents weary of the constant storms.

CBS LA reporter Nicole Comstock captured the mood in Pasadena, where she interviewed actor Akeem Mair and other residents tired of the endless gray skies and flooding. “The forecast feels like a broken record…promising so much more rain that it’s triggering a flood watch!” Comstock said. Akeem Mair summed up the feelings of many locals, exclaiming, “I want my sun!”

Impacts on Pasadena

Overview of the various impacts on Pasadena – covering safety risks, quality of life issues, and economic impacts.

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The nonstop rain has wreaked havoc across the region, with Pasadena experiencing its fair share of storm damage and inconveniences.

Safety Risks

●     Power outages – High winds up to 35mph can down trees and power lines, causing blackouts.

●     Flooding – With the ground saturated, even moderate rain can cause flooding in poor drainage areas.

●     Mudslides – Saturated hillsides are prone to collapse, blocking roadways.

Quality of Life

Overview of the quality of life impacts on residents.

●     Cabin fever – Endless gray skies and flooding keep people stuck indoors.

●     Event cancellations – Many outdoor events and activities are disrupted.

●     Commuting difficulties – Reduced visibility and ponding on roads impedes travel. 

Economic Impacts

A brief overview of the economic impacts.

●     Business closures – Flooding and damage force some businesses to temporarily close.

●     Tourism decline – Fewer people visit during the storms, hurting hotels, restaurants, and attractions.

●     Increased costs – Homeowners and businesses pay more for flood damage repairs and mold mitigation.

Why So Many Atmospheric Rivers?

Overview of the weather pattern causing the high number of storms reaching SoCal.

National Weather Service forecaster Samantha Connolly explains that while atmospheric rivers commonly occur in winter, it’s unusual to have so many strong ones reaching Southern California this season.

“We’ve been in a weather pattern that has allowed these atmospheric rivers to move down to Southern California,” Connolly stated.

Connolly estimated this would be the region’s 8th to 10th atmospheric river since late December. Usually, only a few make landfall this far south.

Forecast and Warnings

Summary of the hazardous weather alerts issued for the incoming storm system.

Here are the hazardous weather alerts issued for March 20-22, 2023, as the latest atmospheric river aimed:

●     Flood watch – Spanning most of LA County through Wednesday afternoon due to heavy rainfall up to 0.5-0.6 inches per hour.

●     Wind advisory – Gusts up to 35mph for most of LA County on Tuesday.

●     High wind warning – On Tuesday morning through evening, OC coastal and inland areas.

●     Additional flood watch – Issued for OC coastal and inland areas through Tuesday.

●     Winter storm warning – In effect along the Highway 14 corridor through San Gabriel Mountains Tuesday.

It wraps up by reiterating the impacts on residents and the outlook for improvement.

The nonstop atmospheric river storms have left Southern Californians weary and eager for sunnier spring weather. As actor Akeem Mair told CBS LA, “I want my sun!” Unfortunately, the region must endure this latest deluge before conditions can improve. With more heavy rains, flooding, and high winds forecast, residents are advised to take precautions and avoid unnecessary travel if possible.


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