We've all heard down through the years about the "big one" - as in the San Andreas Fault earthquake.  Well now it appears there is an even ‘bigger one’, a ‘super-storm’ in the form of water called an ARk Storm (cleverly named after the boat Noah and his zoo friends sailed in on.) 

To get just a little technical here (just a little), and for clarification sake, NOAA has described atmospheric rivers as enormous channels, hundreds of miles wide.  Oh and the capital ‘A’ and ‘R’ stand for 'atmospheric river' (I just didn’t want you to think I was getting heavy-handed on the cap button.) 

The ARk Storm scenario (dubbed a near apocalyptic scenario) is the mother of all storms.  It’s a huge storm that could last up to 40 or more days, as it sits out in the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean bringing with it rain totals in feet (possibly 10 or even more), flooding huge portions of California. This storm would be a catastrophic event bringing devastation on par with Hurricane Katrina.  Think state-wide opposed to city-wide, with flooding, landslides, floating debris, erosion and, infrastructure damage.

Just like almost everything else in our world, ARk Storms come in cycles; usually every-other century.  And, much like bell bottoms and tie-dyed shirts, the ARk Storm will be making a come-back in the near if not to distant future.   

The driving force behind a storm like this is charged particles in the atmosphere from the Sun, like solar flares, CME’s, coronal holes, gamma ray burst and galactic cosmic rays.  I know sounds kinda Star War-ish – but if you’ve watched the news lately, CME’s (coronal mass ejections) and solar flares are becoming more and more frequent on the Sun.

Now, I’m going to be just a little more technical here, these particles are sometimes referred to as solar winds which produces a flow of particles into the Earth’s magnetic field (think dust particles in the breeze of an open window with the Sun shining through).  This flow has a direct effect on the ocean and jet stream currents (our weather patterns).  To stir these matters up even further, NASA has stated, that the Earth will be hit with unprecedented levels of magnetic energy from solar flares after the Sun wakes “from a deep slumber” sometime around 2013. 

Okay so does that give Californians a window to book their flights out of the State?  Who knows?   But, the good news is (if there is good news), unlike "the big one," a storm of this magnitude would take days and even weeks to become a reality.  Meteorologists will be able to pin point the storm’s pattern and give plenty of warning ahead of time.  The bad news, and there is a lot of bad news, one of which, I’m not sure if you will be able to get a flight out once the storm begins as everyone else will be vying for a flight as well.

As for preparation?  I’m really not sure how a person would prepare for such a storm.

Water wings perhaps?  Just sayin'.

- Survivor Jane









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