Special Storm Alert Threatens Widespread Power Outages in California

By: Stephanie Bontorin | Published: Apr 25, 2024

Meteorologists warn that California may be in trouble this week due to extreme weather.

Massive storm warnings on Friday night might spell disaster for the power grid in the Golden State.

Severe Weather Alerts in the Area

The weather alerts have been issued for Friday night. Experts warn that strong winds can cause massive power outages throughout Southern California.

A man walks down the street at night holding an umbrella. The street behind him is fuzzy and wet

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The storm system is expected to maintain full strength throughout most of the weekend and could potentially affect millions of people.

Experts Warn People They Could Lose Control of Cars

The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a high wind warning and suggested that residents stay off open space highways for fears that residents could risk losing control of their cars.

A single tree in the center of a green field is blown over in a gust of wind

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Senior meteorologist Victor Proton told Newsweek that the winds are the same weather pattern expected to touch down in the central U.S. on Saturday.

Central U.S. Also Expecting Huge Weather Systems This Week

The same winds and cold fronts are set to whip through Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana.

A wide view of an large empty field with a single tornado touching down from a stormy sky

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The winds are expected to reach upwards of 55 miles per hour in some areas. These gusts are enough to shut down normal activity in cities.

Sudden Gusts of Wind Can Cause Damage

Sustained weather isn’t as much of a concern as sudden gusts are. These types of extreme winds can knock people over and cause property damage.

A green area with damaged trees and debris on the ground

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The weather service hopes that by warning residents now, they can stay inside for most of Sunday and Monday to mitigate the damage.

Stronger Wind in the Desert

Officials have also warned residents in California to stay away from the Mojave Desert slopes. High profile vehicles like semi-trucks are urged to skip driving through the area.

An aerial view of sand dunes with sand moving in the wind

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They estimate that gusts of wind can reach up to 70 miles an hour. In addition to sand storms, the desert will be an incredibly uninhabitable place this weekend.


Thunderstorm Warning for the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range

On top of the violent gusts of wind, the NSW has issued a snow warning for the Sierra Nevada Mountain range.

A view of a large mountain range with clouds and snow at the top and small shrubs and trees at the bottom

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Although snow can be expected for this time of year, in addition to the wind the snow can cause sudden thunderstorms and small hail.


What Are the Areas Affected in California?

So far, meteorologists have identified the areas that will be affected the worse due to the weather. 

A large water fall surrounded by rocks and trees in the rain

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The strongest risk for thunderstorms are in the Hanford region, including Shaver Lake, Lake Thomas Edison, Oakhurst, Mariposa, Wawona, Yosemite Valley, Tioga Pass and Hetch Hethcy.


Residents Directed To Take Shelter

In the affected areas, officials have urged residents to remain in the lower levels of their homes while the windstorm takes place.

A large tree limp sits on top of a red car in the aftermath of a storm

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They also suggest avoiding windows and balconies for fear of any flying objects.


Falling Debris Could Prove Fatal

Due to droughts and dry weather, trees and large plants can become dry and brittle. Winds that sweep in can cause massive damage and breakage in trees.

A man wearing boots and gloves stands in the middle of debris from a storm

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Being caught in the path of a falling tree or plant can be fatal. Officials have recommended that residents take precaution wherever necessary to avoid the risk.


Power Outages Beginning on Thursday

As of Thursday morning, some odd 7,700 people experienced power outages in California.

Two men wearing hard hats and PPE sit in the bucket of a lift while working on large power lines set against a blue sky

Source: American Public Power Association/Unsplash

After the weather warning was issued on Wednesday night, residents became immediately affected by the winds.


Worst Weather Event Experienced So Far in 2024

AccuWeather meteorologists have warned that millions of people are at risk of losing power. As well, the possibility of dangerous and fatal thunderstorms are causing concerns.

A large green field with dark clouds and rain falling

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The incoming storm has been labeled the most dangerous weather event of 2024 so far. After moving through California, the winds are expected to touch down in central U.S. where further concerns of tornadoes are feared.