Dodger Stadium Flooded: For several days, meteorologists have been grappling with the trajectory of Hilary. It transformed a powerful Category 4 hurricane in the Pacific Ocean to an exceptionally rare tropical storm that made its way into Southern California.
However, the path that Hilary chose took an intriguing twist on Sunday night. The storm embarked on a journey from the Inland Empire to the heart of Los Angeles.
According to the National Hurricane Center, the storm’s center transitioned from being east of Murrieta in Riverside County at 5 p.m. to hovering above Compton around 8 p.m.
Notably, by around 8:15 p.m., the storm’s center was directly over Dodger Stadium, as reported by Daniel Swain, a climate scientist from UCLA.
This unexpected shift in the storm’s center differed from predictions. The “eye” of the storm, as it’s commonly referred to, was initially forecasted to head northward along the Los Angeles and San Bernardino county border, proceeding north into the Owens Valley along the U.S. Highway 395 route.
However, this adjustment in the eye’s position coincided with Hilary losing some of its organization as a tropical storm. In essence, the specific location of the eye on Sunday night matters less now, as meteorologist Todd Hall from the National Weather Service office in Oxnard explains, due to Hilary’s ongoing weakening.
By 11 p.m. Sunday, the National Hurricane Center repositioned Hilary’s center to its original anticipated location — in the Owens Valley, situated somewhere between Ridgecrest and Lone Pine.
The persisting concern centers around rainfall. Portions of L.A. and Ventura counties experienced heavy downpours on Sunday night, giving rise to worries about flooding.
Remarkably, the desert regions are witnessing unprecedented levels of rainfall. It led to flooding in various locations across the area, particularly in the deserts and mountains.
Reports of flooding and road closures have emerged from multiple desert areas. Floodwaters even inundated Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage. Meanwhile, in Thermal, the downpour caused power outages. The town of Coachella also witnessed road flooding.
Anticipated major flooding is a source of concern for Death Valley and the Morongo Basin. San Diego saw precipitation of up to 1.58 inches by late Sunday, marking it as the wettest day since 1873.
Assessing the extent of damage to Southern California will require time. As overnight downpours are expected to persist, a comprehensive understanding of the flooding’s scope might only be attainable later on Monday.
With the storm hovering off Los Angeles and Ventura counties while its southern edge trends northward, new flash flood advisories were released for southern and southeastern California. Near the Southern California coast, the National Hurricane Center reported maximum sustained winds of 45 mph.
Daniel Swain noted on Sunday night that there’s a possibility of significant flooding resurfacing overnight in the southeastern desert region.
Hilary’s impact manifested in record-breaking intense rainfall. Downtown L.A. set a daily record with 1.53 inches of rainfall. Other locations, including Los Angeles International Airport and Long Beach, also recorded daily precipitation records.
Hilary’s vast size was comparable to that of the state of Arizona.