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Los Angeles faces the threat of weekend flooding as another storm surge heads toward Southern California

Sierra Snowpack Season

SCRIPTURES Another soggy chapter will be written at the beginning of the year in Southern California as an atmospheric river storm is set to dump rain on the region, threatening the possibility of more flooding.

A strong low pressure area is moving off the coast of Northern California Friday as it stops on its three-day journey through parts of the state.

Steady rain will move into the San Francisco Bay Area and Central California Valley during Friday afternoon, bringing periods of downpours and gusts of up to 45 mph along the coast and hills.

As the storm pushes south into the Los Angeles Basin on Friday night, it will join some tropical moisture, transitioning into a short atmospheric river system that will add more rain and flooding through the weekend.

“A lot of the moisture in the southern part (of the storm) is being absorbed well, dumped into Southern California,” FOX meteorologist Bob Van Dillen said. “Spots that don’t need rain will get it again.”


About 1.5-3 inches of rain is possible up and down the Southern California coast, including the Los Angeles Basin and San Diego. Highs of 3-6 inches are likely in the mountains and hills.

“You’re talking about a lot of rain here, and you’re working against these mountain fronts that are allowing a lot of rain in southern California,” FOX meteorologist Britta Merwin said.

As a result, much of Southern California is now under a Flood Watch through the weekend.

Additionally, rainfall amounts of 0.25-0.50 inches per hour are expected across the region, with 0.75-1.0 inches per hour possible in localized thunderstorms.

NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center has placed the Santa Barbara, California area at a Level 2 out of 4 risk of flash flooding on Friday as the storm approaches, with that level of danger spreading across much of Los Angeles and San Diego on Saturday.

“I’ll be ready for it,” Merwin said. “I don’t think it’s a question of if we’re going to be swept away, but where we’re going to be swept away. Be very careful about what’s going on.”

“Flooding on the way will be a bit of a risk on Saturday,” the National Weather Service in Los Angeles warned. “So if you’re planning to travel to or from southern and central California, plan extra time to get to your destination over the weekend.”

Most of the heavy, moderate to heavy rain will fall in Southern California on Saturday ahead of the storm. But once the front passes, the atmosphere will become unstable as the cold rising air moves into the area. That will give rise to possible thunderstorms Saturday night into Sunday, and even a low chance of severe weather, including heavy rain, quarter-sized hail, gusty winds and even a chance of less storm or water flow.

“This is a classic setting where we can see the extreme weather of Southern California,” Merwin said. “That cold air there (above) will bring the danger of thunderstorms. We shouldn’t be surprised if we see hail.”


Rock and mud slides, which have been a recurring problem throughout the cold winter, are still possible when the ground is saturated. Downtown Los Angeles has nearly doubled since the start of the year, and February was among the 10 wettest on record.

Winds will gust to 20-40 mph, with gusts of 45-60 mph over the Santa Lucia Mountains, where High Wind Warnings are in effect Friday.

“Nothing says spring like snow and blowing snow in the mountains,” the NWS in Los Angeles said Wednesday.

More snow will fall in the higher elevations of Southern California this weekend, with a chance of 2-6 inches above 4,500 feet and 12-24 inches above 6,500 feet. There is a low chance of snow near Interstate 5’s Tejon Pass in Grapevine.

“Going up and down the Sierra and Southern California mountains, it’s not going to be fun,” Merwin said. “And of course, this is the weekend you want to do it. So be smart and be safe.”

Snow will also close in on the Sierra Nevada, where a few feet of snow will add to the snowpack that now sits at 101% of the statewide average.

Sierra Snowpack Season
A statewide chart shows California’s snowpack this year.

The FOX Forecast Center said: “This was one of the worst snowfall events we’ve seen in modern California history. “The statewide snowpack was only 28%. normal on Jan 1 and 53% of normal on Feb. 1, before the storm train moves in.”

Southern California is expected to dry out early next week as the storm moves back into the Pacific Northwest, but long-range forecasts show another storm targeting California next weekend.

Source of original article: Los Angeles faces the threat of weekend flooding as another storm surge heads toward Southern California

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