Actually, the science is not that Hollywood.
The most powerful storm in recorded history for the region swept through the Southwestern United States last week, “bringing deadly flooding, tornadoes, hail, hurricane force winds, and blizzard conditions.”
"We expect to get powerful winter storms affecting the Southwest U.S. during strong El Niño events, but yesterday’s storm was truly epic in its size and intensity. The storm set all-time low pressure records over roughly 10 – 15% of the U.S.–over southern Oregon, and most of California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah." ~Jeff Masters
However, this record storm is only a preview of what is to come in a warmer world. Global Boiling: Preparing For Frankenstorms
The USGS Multi Hazards Demonstration Project (MHDP) is preparing a new emergency-preparedness scenario, called ARkStorm, to address massive U.S. West Coast storms analogous to those that devastated California in 1861–62. Storms of this magnitude are projected to become more frequent and intense as a result of climate change. ARKSTORM: WEST COAST STORM SCENARIO