NASA calculated heavy rainfall leading to California mudslides

January 11, 2018

Winter rains falling on recently burned ground triggered deadly mudslides in Santa Barbara County, California on January 9. NASA calculated the amount of rain fall between January 8 and 10, 2018 and calculated the potential for landslides.

At NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, a landslide potential map was generated by the global Landslide Hazard Assessment for Situational Awareness (LHASA) model, a model that combines precipitation data from the Global Precipitation Measurement or GPM mission satellite with a global landslide susceptibility map. LHASA gives a broad overview of landslide hazard in nearly real time, but site-specific information should be obtained prior to emergency operations or building projects.

At least 17 residents of southern California have been killed by the deadly mudslides. A storm moving in from the Pacific Ocean dropped heavy rain over soil that was laid bare by last month's wild fires. Heavy rainfall loosened surface sediments in Santa Barbara County early Tuesday, Jan. 9 caused deadly mudslides. According to the California Department of Transportation parts of US 101, a major highway connecting northern and southern California has been closed because of mud and debris.

NASA's GPM or Global Precipitation Measurement mission satellite provides information on precipitation from its orbit in space. GPM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency or JAXA. GPM also utilizes a constellation of other satellites to provide a global analysis of precipitation that are used in rainfall calculations.

At NASA Goddard, a rainfall analysis was constructed using NASA's Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for GPM (IMERG) data. Precipitation data acquired from satellites in the GPM Constellation during the period from January 8 to 10, 2018 were used in creating a rainfall accumulation map. The analysis showed the heavy rainfall that occurred over California during the past three days.

The IMERG analysis revealed that the heaviest rainfall occurred over the Sacramento Valley where over 8 inches (203 mm) were indicated. Southern California had heavy rainfall but the effects of the drenching rain was magnified by the bare soil left by last month's wildfires. A rainfall total of 5 inches (127 mm) was reported in Ventura County.
-end-
For information from Santa Barbara County, visit: https://www.countyofsb.org/

For information about the road closures, visit the California Department of Transportation: http://www.dot.ca.gov/

NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Related Precipitation Articles from Brightsurf:

Convection-permitting modelling improves simulated precipitation over the Tibetan Plateau
A China-UK research team explains the possible reasons for excessive precipitation over the TP in the mesoscale convection-parameterized models.

Spread of monsoon circulation changes explains uncertainty in global land monsoon precipitation projection
A new study emphasizes the importance of reliable prediction of circulation changes, to ensure that future projections of global land monsoon are suitable for use by policy makers.

GMMIP simulations on global monsoon interannual variability show higher skill than historical simulations
GMMIP simulations on global monsoon interannual variability show higher skill than historical simulations.

The spatial consistency of summer rainfall variability between the Mongolian Plateau and North China
The regional differences and similarities of precipitation variability are hotspots in climate change research.

Scientists find key factors impacting sideswiping tropical cyclone precipitation
Scientists find that the distribution of sideswiping tropical cyclones precipitation(STP) includes extreme STP events that appear not only over the island and coastal areas, but also over inland areas

Rainy season tends to begin earlier in Northern Central Asia
The researchers found robust increase of annual mean precipitation at the end of the 21st century under all modelling scenarios over northern central Asia.

Using cloud-precipitation relationship to estimate cloud water path of mature tropical cyclones
Scientists find the cloud water path of mature tropical cyclones can be estimated by a notable sigmoid function of near-surface rain rate.

Precipitation will be essential for plants to counteract global warming
A new Columbia Engineering study shows that increased water stress--higher frequency of drought due to higher temperatures, is going to constrain the phenological cycle: in effect, by shutting down photosynthesis, it will generate a lower carbon uptake at the end of the season, thus contributing to increased global warming.

Fall precipitation predicts abundance of curly top disease and guides weed management
Transmitted by an insect known as the beet leafhopper, curly top disease is a viral disease affecting many crops, including melons, peppers, sugar beets, and tomatoes.

Study confirms climate change impacted Hurricane Florence's precipitation and size
A new modeling framework showed that Hurricane Florence produced more extreme rainfall and was spatially larger due to human-induced climate change.

Read More: Precipitation News and Precipitation Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.