California hit by more flooding rain

Another Pacific storm brought more severe weather and heavy rains to flood-weary California.

    Lightnings light up the skies as a storm approaches Santa Barbara in California [Mike Eliason/EPA]
    Lightnings light up the skies as a storm approaches Santa Barbara in California [Mike Eliason/EPA]

    The latest in a series of Pacific storms has again brought more heavy rain to parts of California in the United States this week.

    Severe storms, hail and lightning were reported for much of central and southern California on Wednesday.

    Starting late Tuesday evening, storms approached much of the southern half of California with satellite imagery picking up hundreds of lightning strikes.

    On Wednesday morning, severe storms brought flooding rain and hail to Sonora in the central part of the state. The rain was so heavy at times that floodwaters rushed down the city streets, making them look more like rivers.

    In Los Angeles, lightning knocked out electricity at three terminals of the Los Angeles International Airport. Near Bakersfield, a rockslide occurred due to the heavy rains combining with saturated soil.

    Even the driest place in the US was not exempt from the line of storms. California's Death Valley picked up 16mm of rain - more than double the park's average March rainfall.

    Heavy rain in a desert environment such as Death Valley is not easily absorbed, causing flash floods.

    Flash flood watches continued on Thursday morning in parts of central California as heavy rain combined with the melting snow is expected to increase water runoff in the lower elevations.

    The forecast for the next several days looks to be relatively quiet in terms of rain, but the higher elevations of the Sierra Nevada mountains will continue to see periods of heavy snow.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies