US braced for storms, wildfires and snow across the country in coming week

Harriet Alexander
·2-min read
A PG&E electricity worker is seen surveying the Creek Fire, which blazed across swathes of California in September (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
A PG&E electricity worker is seen surveying the Creek Fire, which blazed across swathes of California in September (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The United States is readying for a week of storms, high winds, wildfires and snow as the dramatic weather systems that have characterised 2020 show no sign of calming.

In California, high winds and dry conditions were expected to create "the most dangerous fire weather Berkeley has seen so far this year," according to warnings from the Berkeley city manager.

Many parks across the Bay Area were closed in anticipation, and a planned blackout was being arranged.

Pacific Gas & Electricity warned that 700 people should prepare to be without power for two days from 4pm on Sunday, as a "Public Safety Power Shutoff" caused by the winds kicked off.

Further south, around Los Angeles, winds were gathering speed on Sunday, and expected to strenghten into Monday.

Gusts of 35 to 60 mph are possible across the coasts and valleys, the National Weather Service said, with gusts to 80 mph in the mountains.

Moving inland, residents around the Rocky Mountains were being told to brace themselves for "extreme/unusually cold temperatures".

Up to a foot of snow was forecast in the mountains around the ski resort of Telluride, Colorado, in good news for winter sports lovers but of concern to others.

Meanwhile, those living in coastal areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida were watching closely the path of Hurricane Zeta, expected to make landfall on Wednesday.

The 27th named storm of the season, Zeta was threatening to batter a region already hammered by a record-breaking season.

The government ran out of storm names and, for only the second time, had to resort to the Greek alphabet for new names.

A record 10 storms made landfall in the US.

In late August, Hurricane Laura became the first Category 4 hurricane to landfall in southwest Louisiana.

It produced storm surge inundation of up to 19 feet along the southwest Louisiana coast and widespread destructive winds in Lake Charles.

Just six weeks later, Hurricane Delta made a Category 2 landfall near Creole, Louisiana, only about 15 miles east of Laura's landfall location.

Delta once again brought high winds to Lake Charles, where many roofs were still covered by tarps after Laura's siege. Up to nine feet of surge inundation was recorded along the south-central Louisiana coast.

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