Win­ter storm bears down on South­land

Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - Front Page -

LOS AN­GE­LES (CNS) — The first win­ter storm of 2019 has moved into South­land for the week­end, bring­ing with it rain, snow and fears of flood­ing and mud­slides on moun­tain slopes re­cently scorched by wild­fires.

Fore­cast­ers es­ti­mated this storm will bring a halfinch to an inch of rain­fall across the South­ern Cal­i­for­nia coast and val­leys and more than dou­ble that amount in higher el­e­va­tions, mak­ing it sim­i­lar in size to the early De­cem­ber sys­tem that sent mud and rocks cas­cad­ing onto roads and forc­ing evac­u­a­tions in some ar­eas.

The storm al­ready has ush­ered in colder weather — Palm­dale reached just 49 de­grees Satur­day, while Lan­cas­ter peaked at 51.

The strong Pa­cific sys­tem, orig­i­nat­ing in the Gulf of Alaska and pre­dicted to bat­ter por­tions of North­ern Cal­i­for­nia, be­gan pour­ing into the South­land on Satur­day and was ex­pected to con­tinue through to­day.

“A pow­er­ful storm will slam … with heavy rain, high winds, heavy snow as low as 3,000 feet, and beach haz­ards,” ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice, which is­sued a flash flood watch for ar­eas re­cently burned by fires.

It’s part of a mod­er­ate El Niño weather pat­tern that experts said will con­tinue to bring more pre­cip­i­ta­tion to some re­gions of the state, with the outlook for the next few months in­di­cat­ing above­av­er­age rain­fall.

That’s wel­come news for South­ern ski re­sorts that may cel­e­brate 4 to 8 inches of fresh pow­der this week­end, and up to three feet in the north­ern Sierra.

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