In case you needed another apocalyptic scenario to keep you up nights... Climate scientists are referring to it as "the other Big One," and what they're talking about is a series of torrential storms, caused by "atmospheric rivers" over California, the likes of which the state has seen before: in the winter of 1861-62. That year, storms rained down across the state for 45 straight days, leaving a third of the land under water.
A report from a group of scientists who just met in Sacramento Thursday attempts to project what the impacts of such a prolonged winter weather system would be on modern California, and for obvious reasons, devastating. $725 billion worth of devastation, which is three times what's projected in the event of a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Southern California.
Geologic evidence of past floods indicate even bigger storms struck the state long before European settlers arrived.
But with infrastructure development and a population that has grown to 37 million, many of whom live on floodplains and hillsides, a big storm could cause massive destruction to the state.
Suffice it to say we'd be fucked, and what we've seen so far this year in Southern California is child's play.