weather map 1-11-15
Radar showing the warm winter storm hovering over the Southland. Image courtesy of the NWS

More than two inches of rain fell in some locations, as the Southland was surprised by a warm winter soaker that arrived early Saturday and decided to stay for the weekend.

Unofficial rain totals for the 24 hours ending at 8 a.m. Sunday included 2.25 inches at Zuma Beach, 1.42 inches at Agoura Hills, 1.34 inches at Sepulveda Pass and 1.22 inches of rainfall at Newhall.

Rain was expected to taper off into the evening, said meteorologist David Sweet at the National Weather Service forecast office in Oxnard.

It was a warm storm, with snow falling only above the 7,500-foot elevation, the NWS said. That is far above Interstate 5 and other freeways as they pass through nearby mountains.

Forecasters were surprised by the large amount of rain from a storm “that was a very difficult prediction circumstance,” Sweet said. “The models were all over the place, with some showing no rain and others saying a lot.”

The result was a small storm that penetrated a high pressure ridge over California, and settled in along the coast from Santa Barbara to San Juan Capistrano.

“This storm decided to stay, and give us some relief from our terrible drought,” Sweet said.

Automated, unofficial rain gauges operated by Los Angeles County’s Department of Public Works measured:

  • 1.74 inches at Topanga Canyon;
  • 1.65 inches at both Decker Canyon and Piuma Road, above Malibu;
  • 1.38 inches at Little Gleason, in the mountains north of Tujunga.
  • 97 inches at Point Vicente, near San Pedro;
  • 0.96 inches at Northridge, and
  • 0.83 inches at the official downtown Los Angeles weather station, at USC.

City News Service

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