Atmospheric River Inundates Pacific Northwest With Floods

( – Atmospheric rivers, known as rivers in the sky, are a common weather occurrence. According to NASA, there are 11 on Earth at any given time. They are also responsible for at least 30% to 50% of the precipitation California experiences each year. But with the presence of these rivers comes flooding, and that creates a world of problems for the areas it dumps on. The Pacific Northwest is currently feeling the effects.

Over the past few days, an atmospheric river bombarded the Pacific Northwest, dumping several inches of rain on Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, all of which were on alert for most of the week. The heavy precipitation caused several bodies of water to overflow and flood several areas. Several rivers were at major flood stages on Tuesday, December 5. Snow melting in the mountains only exacerbated the situation.

One river flooded an entire Snohomish County, Washington, town of 200 people on Tuesday, essentially isolating it. People could only reach Silvana by boat. Firefighters had to help all of the residents evacuate. The same day, first responders helped rescue four people and a dog approximately 25 miles northeast of Seattle.

Heading south to Rosburg, Washington, five people got caught in floodwaters, and it took the Coast Guard to get them out. Seattle’s National Weather Service warned residents that the increased amount of rain—there was a record 2.39 inches on Tuesday alone—would result in “an increased threat of landslides,” per The Washington Post. At least two people have died due to the flooding.

The weather has been so bad that it’s hampered travel. Axios reported that Amtrak canceled its train service between Seattle and Portland through Thursday due to a landslide. Roads and schools in the affected regions have been closed to keep people safe. The weather persisted through Thursday, when it shifted eastward to the Rocky Mountains and Great Basin, where it was predicted to create heavy snowfall.

Copyright 2023,