NASA Satellite Photos Show Effects of Rain in California

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Photos from NASA’s Earth Observatory show the aftereffects of massive amounts of rain on California’s hydrologic system.

A NASA satellite photo show how California's rains have dumped sediment into the Pacific Ocean.

A NASA satellite photo show how California’s rains have dumped sediment into the Pacific Ocean.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says strong atmospheric rivers can transport 7.5 to 15 times the average water flow at the mouth of the Mississippi River. These flowing columns of condensed water vapor produce “significant levels of rain and snow,” and can account for 30-50% of the Pacific Coast’s rain and snow.

Atmospheric rivers are usually 250-375 miles wide.

Satellite photos published by NASA show how rain caused by California’s most recent atmospheric river is carrying sediment through waterways and dumping it into the Pacific Ocean.

The brown Pacific water indicates sediment-rich areas; teal-ish Pacific water indicates the sediment mixing with the ocean’s saltwater.

 

This image captured by NASA shows the California coast before the rain.

This image captured by NASA shows the California coast before the rain.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.