Tropical Storm Rosa Threatens 11 Million People With Flooding in the U.S. Southwest

Deserts aren’t supposed to get much rain, but Tropical Storm Rosa is flipping the script.

Rosa is forecast to make landfall early Tuesday with more than 11 million people under a flash flood watch in the Southwest, CNN meteorologist Michael Guy said.

It’ll drench Baja California with 3 to 6 inches of rain, with some spots getting up to 10 inches, the National Hurricane Center said.

As it moves northeast, Rosa will also dump 2 to 4 inches of rain on much of Arizona, with up to 6 inches in the mountains. A flash flood watch is in effect for parts of Arizona until Wednesday as the storm’s remnants move across the state, the National Weather Service said.

“These rainfall amounts may produce life-threatening flash flooding,” the National Hurricane Center said. “Dangerous debris flows and landslides are also possible in mountainous terrain.”

Historically, it’s unusual for the US Southwest to get pummeled by a hurricane or tropical storm. But “these events have begun to increase in recent years,” CNN meteorologist Gene Norman said.

Research indicates that global warming contributes to tropical storms getting “more intense, bigger and longer-lasting, thereby increasing their potential for damage,” said Kevin Trenberth, senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

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SOURCE: CNN, Holly Yan