California megafloods come about once every 200 years, say some climate scientists. Another one may be due, says the publication Nature Climate Change, which predicts up to a 100 percent increase in extreme precipitation swings over California in the next seven decades.
The publication Wired published a story recently on California’s varied weather patterns. The story was picked up by the publication Mother Jones. Some history: In December 1861, Californians, in their fifth year of drought, prayed for rain. And boy, did they get it: “For 43 days rain and snow fell across the state, causing rivers to surge their banks, turning the 300 mile-long, 20 mile-wide Central Valley into an ice-cold inland sea. LA got 66 inches. So deep were Sacramento’s floodwaters that the capital had to be relocated to San Francisco. With a quarter of the economy underwater, the state was forced into bankruptcy. Thousands of people died, and no storms have come close to topping it since,” says Mother Jones.
If such megafloods come every 200 years, the clock may be ticking, says Mother Jones."By the middle of the century, a megaflood could be striking California every couple of decades,” says Mother Jones. The publication Nature Climate Change predicts up to a 100 percent increase in extreme precipitation swings across California in the next seven decades.
The drought-to-deluge pattern may be threatening now, says Nature Climate Change. From 2013 to 2016, California had the driest three years in history. Then at the end of 2016 came rainfall records, mudslides, a major bridge collapse and a failure on the Oroville Dam’s primary spillway. Months later came the 280,000 acre wildfire near Los Angeles, followed by more floods and landslides.