Rain began falling on the Southland Monday, and strong winds are expected, according to the National Weather Service.
Monday’s rains arrived in time to produce a wet commute in some Southland locations, with at least a quarter-inch expected to fall on flatlands and as much as an inch in mountain areas by sunset, forecasters said.
The storm will be a potent snowmaker, said the NWS, which has issued winter storm warnings in the mountains above 4,000 feet.
By Monday afternoon, snow is forecast to start falling above 8,000 feet, dropping to 6,000 feet by Tuesday afternoon and 4,000 feet by Tuesday evening, as a vigorous cold front arrives from the Gulf of Alaska and collides with the wet warm front already in Southern California.
Blizzard conditions are possible on Interstate 5 over The Grapevine on Tuesday.
Weather service computer models indicate Monday’s preliminary warm storm and bigger cold storm on Tuesday will both be wetter than first thought.
Winds of up to 60 miles an hour may hit Malibu, the Grapevine, Castaic and the Antelope Valley Monday, the NWS warned.
In the flatlands on Tuesday, some south-facing slopes are forecast to receive five to six inches of rain over the course of a few hours.
The storms come after a 10-month dry spell in the Southland following torrential rains in January and February of last year.
In 2017, downtown Los Angeles experienced its driest March 1 through Dec. 31 since 1878, with only .69 of an inch of rainfall, according to the NWS.
NWS Meteorologist Joe Sirad told City News Service the flatlands of Los Angeles County will get the most rain since last Feb. 17, when downtown. got 2.01 inches.
“Our confidence is quite high,” Sirad said of computer models.
The expected moisture region-wide will be welcome news for a majority of residents, but not those who live in the Creek, La Tuna, Rye and Skirball burn areas, where there is a “strong potential for mud and debris flows,” Sirad said. “People in burn areas need to take protective measures and listen for evacuation messages.”
It also could result in urban street and underpass, flooding making for a “rainy, windy commute” on Tuesday, he said.
An offshore flow is forecast to return late Wednesday with warmer temperatures, dry air, low humidity and gusty winds through Sunday.
Saturday could bring sunny skies and highs above 80.
More rain may arrive around the following Monday, Jan. 15, Sirad said.
The NWS forecast rain in L.A. County Monday, along with highs of 55 degree on Mount Wilson; 59 in Palmdale and Lancaster; 64 in Avalon, Saugus, San Gabriel and Burbank; 65 in Downtown L.A., Pasadena and Woodland Hills and at LAX; and 66 in Long Beach.
Rain was also forecast in Orange County, along with highs of 65 in Newport Beach and Yorba Linda; 66 in Laguna Beach and San Clemente; 67 in Fullerton and Anaheim; 68 in Mission Viejo; and 69 in Irvine.
Still accompanied by rainy weather, temperatures will be up to 6 degrees lower in L.A. County Tuesday and up to 7 degrees lower in Orange County.
—City News Service
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