Author: Deborah

The California coast was whipped up by a series of rare storms

The California coast was whipped up by a series of rare storms

Scattered storms, lightning hit Southern California and prompt beach closures

Posted: Sun 2:07 PM, Mar 3, 2013&nbsp|&nbsp

Updated: Sun 2:11 PM, Mar 3, 2013

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Southern California’s coast was whipped up earlier this month by a series of rare storms that dropped a large amount of rain, sent dozens of waves careening across the shore and prompted beach closures.

The storms were caused by a rare geomagnetic storm that struck about 70 miles (120 kilometers) inland from North America, spawning a wave of lightning and damaging trees and homes throughout the area, according to the National Weather Service.

The storms arrived from the opposite direction, moving west at nearly 40 mph (65 kph) Tuesday.

“We’re having a real rough time right now,” said Mark Dominguez, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Oxnard, about 75 miles (120 kilometers) east of Los Angeles.

There is no storm warning in effect in the Greater Los Angeles Area, which covers nearly 100 square miles (280 square kilometers). The most dangerous storm may be on the coast as it is forecast to dump 7½ inches (18.7 centimeters) of rain on the San Francisco Bay Area this week.

Storms of that size have been unusual since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., combined with a powerful sunspot, and last year’s superstorm Irene, both of which dumped 8 inches (20 centimeters) of rain on Southern California on the same day.

Trees also died in the storm last month, including more than 1,300 oaks, oaks, maples, sycamores and black oak trees on beaches in the area, according to the Los Angeles County Water District.

The storm is considered a geomagnetic storm, which has been occurring periodically off the coast of California every 10,000 years, according to the NWS.

“Usually geomagnetic storms are a one-time event and never become an all-year event,” Dominguez said

Leave a Comment