Is global warming responsible for California’s destructive storms?

January 19, 2023


This month’s storms that wreaked havoc on California, especially the Central Coast, do not appear to have been caused by global warming, climate scientists say. [LA Times]

Scientists are still studying the size and severity of the recent storms. But, initial assessments suggest the destructive nature of the storms had more to do with California’s historic drought-to-deluge cycles, mountainous topography and aging flood infrastructure than with greenhouse gas emissions.

“Assuming that these storms were driven by global warming would be like assuming an athlete who breaks a record was on steroids,” said Alexander Gershunov, a climate scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

The series of atmospheric rivers that pummeled California this month seems akin to other major storms that struck the state at least once a decade since researchers began keeping records in the 1800s.

Southern California experienced the “Great flood of 1938,” which killed more than 100 people and left thousands homeless. Other intense storms occurred in 1964, 1969, 1982, 1995 and 2005. In 2017, a series of atmospheric rivers eroded the main and emergency spillways at Oroville Dam, forcing thousands of residents to evacuate.

Nonetheless, some climate scientists predict more frequent mega-storms fueled by warming oceans and a thirstier atmosphere, resulting from global warming.

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Stop Global Whining!


Except to the “flat earth society”, climate change is obvious. The question is what to do about it? Answer, prepare for the impacts.

The Global Warming Religion has the timeline of a Gnat. This in not climate change, it’s nature doing its thing.

Lest we fortget…..This last fall the weather ‘experts’ told us we are still in a La Nina cycle and could expect another winter of drought!


For an eye opening and proper understanding of the 2000+ years long California pattern of decadal drought interrupted by epic precipitation and snowfall, please research the 1861/62 California Mega Flood. The rain/snowfall started in November 1861 and by January 1862, unimaginable vast tracts of California were under water. The entire San Joaquin Valley and most of Sacramento Valley were enormous lakes. The Dublin/San Ramon/Pleasanton/Livermore Valley was a huge lake. Southern California was not spared as huge lakes formed in the Los Angeles Basin, Mojave Desert, and in the San Diego Area. This wasn’t short term flooding, either. The lakes persisted for weeks and months before the waters subsided. The state’s major mountain ranges held gargantuan snowpacks that continued to feed floodwaters during the months of spring/summer snowmelt. The endless onslaught of atmospheric rivers that delivered Biblical level rainfall in the Winter of 1861/62 makes the winters of 1969, 1973, 1995, and 2023 look like mild afternoon showers by comparison.

The effects weren’t just felt in California. The entire West Coast, Nevada, British Columbia, and Northwest Mexico were similarly impacted. A time frame of twenty years, thirty-five years, even a lifetime isn’t long enough to fully appreciate what Mother Nature has a habit of delivering to our state. It happened before and will happen again at some point. Research and learn about this story of California’s history and normal climate pattern. A good starter reference on this subject is the article about the California Megaflood that appeared in Scientific American in 2013.