Photo via OnScene.TV.
Photo via OnScene.TV.

Friday evening’s commute across Southland freeways was miserable, as it was raining Friday evening in some parts of the Southland but dry with scattered clouds in other parts.

A slow-moving storm moved through the area. There was even a chance of thunderstorms Friday night. A flash flood watch was in effect in the San Gabriel Mountains in L-A and Ventura counties and the Antelope Valley until 8 p-m. The National Weather Service was warning of danger from possible mud and debris slides.

And, of course, freeway traffic that would be a tough Friday evening commute regardless of the weather was being hit hard with the rain.

The winter-like weather – unusual for May – was the result of a cold front packing an unusually high volume of moisture for this time of the year.

With upper-level winds expected to be weak, the storm is likely to be slow-moving, generating rainfall rates exceeding an inch per hour, according to a National Weather Service statement.

“Any storm that forms may produce dangerous lightning, gusty winds, heavy showers, and hail,” the weather service warned. “Heavier showers may result in localized flooding of roadways, small creeks, and old burn areas. Outdoor activities such as hiking and boating will be especially affected.”

In addition to flash-flooding, the storm could unleash slides of rocks and mud and debris flows over slopes denuded by wildfires, the statement said.

While the greatest risk of thunderstorms was in the San Gabriel Mountains and Antelope Valley, “a few could drift into the adjacent valleys and even coastal areas,” and “there will be a slight chance for thunderstorms just about anywhere” today, according to the NWS.

That prospect also threatened mariners today, with forecasters warning of isolated thunderstorms over coastal waters.

“Any thunderstorms that form will be capable of producing locally gusty winds and rough seas, dangerous lightning, small hail and heavy rainfall, with reduced visibility,” a statement said.

The NWS forecast mostly showers today and highs of 56 on Mount Wilson; 64 in Palmdale; 65 in Laguna Beach, Avalon, Burbank, Saugus, Lancaster and at LAX; 66 in San Gabriel and San Clemente; 67 in Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Long Beach and Pasadena; 68 in Fullerton, Irvine, downtown L.A. and Woodland Hills; 69 in Anaheim; and 70 in Yorba Linda.

Similar temperatures are expected Saturday, but with fewer showers.

—City News Service

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