Se­ries of storms set to soak the Southland

Ex­pect rain Mon­day through Thurs­day. In Holy fire area, many are urged to evac­u­ate.

Los Angeles Times - - CALIFORNIA - By Tony Bar­boza

A wet week will kick off Mon­day morn­ing with the ar­rival of the sec­ond in a string of five back-to-back storms that are ex­pected to douse South­ern Cal­i­for­nia ev­ery day through Thurs­day.

Most of the rain­fall is ex­pected to be light to mod­er­ate and not se­vere enough to pro­duce ma­jor de­bris flows. But au­thor­i­ties warn that pe­ri­odic bands of heav­ier rain could gen­er­ate road­way flood­ing and shal­low mud­slides or de­bris flows, like the one that cov­ered a stretch of Pa­cific Coast High­way and trapped cars in Mal­ibu this month.

Still, au­thor­i­ties on Sun­day af­ter­noon is­sued vol­un­tary evac­u­a­tion warn­ings to com­mu­ni­ties near the Holy fire burn area, cit­ing the po­ten­tial for dan­ger­ous de­bris flows.

“Peo­ple in these zones SHOULD GO NOW — this is the safest time to leave,” said an alert from the Cal­i­for­nia Depart­ment of Forestry and Fire Pro­tec­tion and the River­side County Fire Depart­ment.

The storm ar­riv­ing early Mon­day could be the heav­i­est, drop­ping half an inch to 2 inches of rain in Los An­ge­les County, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice. Moun­tain ar­eas could see 6 to 12 inches of snow and wind gusts up to 60 mph, cre­at­ing haz­ardous win­ter driv­ing con­di­tions.

More rain will con­tinue blow­ing in each day, fore­cast­ers said. Los An­ge­les is ex­pected to see a quar­ter of an inch to 1 inch of pre­cip­i­ta­tion each day through

Thurs­day, with higher amounts in the foothills and moun­tains, ac­cord­ing to the weather ser­vice.

The area al­ready has seen above av­er­age rain­fall so far this sea­son. Down­town Los An­ge­les typ­i­cally sees 5.37 inches from Oct. 1 to this point in the year.

By week’s end, the storms could bring 2 to 4 inches of rain­fall to down­town, on top of the 5.75 inches that’s al­ready fallen since Oct. 1, the weather ser­vice said.

Fore­cast­ers are hope­ful that gen­tle rains will pre­vail, but still worry that as the wet week pro­gresses, hill­sides sat­u­rated by one storm be­come more prone to slip­page from the next.

“We’d pre­fer to have them a lit­tle more spaced out, but if we can con­tinue to go like this where we can get the rain we need with­out it caus­ing dam­age, that’s won­der­ful,” said Kathy Hoxsie, a me­te­o­rol­o­gist with the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice in Ox­nard.

Of­fi­cials urged res­i­dents in and around the Woolsey fire burn ar­eas to re­main vig­i­lant, as even small amounts of rain can un­leash dan­ger­ous mud­flows with lit­tle or no warn­ing.

“Peak rain­fall rates may re­sult in sig­nif­i­cant mud and de­bris flow, and we en­cour­age Woolsey fire sur­vivors to be ready to evac­u­ate at a mo­ment’s no­tice,” Los An­ge­les County Fire Chief Daryl L. Osby said in a state­ment.

Of­fi­cials urged the pub­lic to avoid flood con­trol chan­nels and other wa­ter­ways and to steer clear of low-ly­ing ar­eas, canyons or steep slopes, which are at the great­est risk of mud­slides and fall­ing de­bris.

Along the coast, the storms are also gen­er­at­ing high surf with the po­ten­tial for dan­ger­ous rip cur­rents. When com­bined with ris­ing tides in the com­ing days, fore­cast­ers said, the storms are likely to cause mi­nor flood­ing along low-ly­ing stretches of coast­line, in­clud­ing parts of Or­ange County.

In South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, it’s un­usual to have such steady rain­fall, ex­perts said, and stormy weather pat­terns typ­i­cally don’t last longer than about three weeks. Down­town L.A. gets about 15 inches of rain an­nu­ally on av­er­age, much of it from a small num­ber of win­ter storms.

But for the next few days, South­ern Cal­i­for­ni­ans should leave the house each morn­ing as­sum­ing it’s go­ing to rain.

“It might not be heavy rain, it might be light enough that you can walk to the car with­out putting up an um­brella,” Hoxsie said, “but you should prob­a­bly have an um­brella or rain jacket handy.”

So far the area has been lucky, fore­cast­ers said, that the rain has re­mained rel­a­tively gen­tle, pro­vid­ing much-needed wa­ter with­out the type of down­pours that can set loose burned hill­sides and cause cat­a­strophic flood­ing or mud­flows.

“Let’s just be grate­ful that we’re get­ting the rain with­out any no­table dam­age at this point,” Hoxsie said. “We should be try­ing to en­joy it while we can and hope that the spigot doesn’t turn off too quickly.”

Kent Nishimura Los An­ge­les Times

CLOUDS GATHER above Dock­weiler State Beach in Playa del Rey on Satur­day. Storms are ex­pected to bring rain ev­ery day through Thurs­day and may gen­er­ate high surf and rip cur­rents at beaches. Res­i­dents of the Woolsey fire burn area are warned to be vig­i­lant.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.