Bad Weather Could be Worse than Earthquake

By Matt Baume
|  Monday, Jan 17, 2011  |  Updated 6:00 AM PDT
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Bad Weather Could be Worse than Earthquake

Isaac Yates

A lightning strike near Old Town and National Harbor at 8:27pm last night. Quite the storm! Let me know if you might use it...thanks! Isaac (First time I've ever submitted a photo)

Sure, you have an earthquake-preparedness kit. But do you have a stormy-weather kit?

At a geological conference held last week, officials warned of meterological disasters that could wreak even more havoc than an earthquake, according to the CC Times.

Among the potential consequences of climate change: 10 feet of rain, landslides, $725 billion in damage, and the agriculture of the Central Valley washed away by floods. More than 100 scientists contributed to the forecast.

As luck would have it, we're right in the path of an "atmospheric river" that carries moisture the length of the Pacific Ocean. Populations have grown in highly risky areas.

Over the years, California has refined its flood-management techniques to a science, but the threat of destructive weather remains. Ever-growing variations in temperature could cause large amounts of humidity to evaporate from the South Pacific and fall over California.

It's happened before. During storms 150 years ago, the Central Valley was turned into a giant lake, and cities all along the California coast were destroyed. As climate patterns change, those events may become more frequent.

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