Courtesy of OnScene.TV
Courtesy of OnScene.TV

A flash flood watch will go into effect late Thursday night as a major storm barrels into Southern California, and morning commuters Friday may be hit hard by early morning rain.

Officials warned residents of Glendora against possible flooding in the hillside areas that were stripped of trees and vegetation in the 2014 major Colby Fire.

Drizzle was expected to start sometime late Thursday, increasing in intensity by the early morning hours and becoming heaviest after dawn. Driving conditions could be difficult, and law enforcement officials warned motorists to be extra careful and leave plenty of time for their morning commutes. The rain could even continue throughout Friday and make the afternoon commute difficult, as well.

The storm was expected to be a bit less intense by the time it reaches the Los Angeles area. It was expected Thursday to unleash between 2 and 4 inches of rainfall along the Central Coast. But it will have weakened by the time it works its way down to Los Angeles County, where the expected total is between a half-inch and an inch, said NWS meteorologist Andrew Rorke.

Light rain could start falling in L.A. County after midnight but the bulk of the rainfall will begin after sunrise, he said.

It wasn’t clear if this rainfall will significantly benefit the Southland’s long drought conditions. Forecasters in the past have warned that individual storms don’t necessarily provide much in the way of drought relief.

The storm is bringing subtropical moisture from Hurricane Seymour, and San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties could experience heavy rainfall starting some time Thursday, forecasters said.

“Embedded thunderstorms will also be possible, which could generate heavy downpours capable of triggering mud and debris flows, especially for the recent burn areas that have not received heavy rain yet this season,” warned an NWS statement.

“Downpours exceeding one-half inch per hour could lead to the first mud and debris flows of the season near recent burn areas.”

A flash flood watch will be in force from late Thursday through Friday morning in recent burn areas of Los Angeles County in the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountains and the San Fernando, Santa Clarita, San Gabriel and Antelope valleys.

“Remember, never attempt to drive through a flooded roadway,” urged an NWS statement. “Turn around. Don’t drown.”

This week’s storms — one passed through the region Sunday and Monday — are generating the first of the fall rains in Southern California. Amid moderate temperatures, the snow level will remain at a high 10,000 feet, forecasters said.

The NWS forecast mostly cloudy skies Thursday and highs of 75 at LAX; 77 in Avalon and on Mount Wilson; 80 in Long Beach; 81 in downtown L.A., Palmdale and Lancaster; 82 in San Gabriel; 83 in Pasadena, Burbank and Saugus; and 87 in Woodland Hills.

Friday’s temperatures will be sharply lower amid the rain, with highs expected to reach 72 in downtown L.A. and 73 in Woodland Hills, which will be 14 degrees lower than Thursday’s expected high. Temperature highs are expected to be in the 70s under cloudy skies over several days after Friday.

Partly cloudy skies are expected in Orange County Thursday, along with highs of 73 in Newport Beach and San Clemente; 75 in Laguna Beach; 80 in Anaheim and Irvine; 81 in Fullerton and Mission Viejo; and 82 in Yorba Linda.

Friday’s Orange County highs amid showers will be up to 6 degrees lower than Thursday and remain in the high 60s and low 70s until at least Wednesday, according to an NWS forecast.

Thursday’s temperatures will be 4-6 degrees above normal, Rorke said, adding that Friday’s will be 2-4 degrees below normal.

—City News Service

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