A rain drenched street in downtown Los Angeles on Friday morning. Courtesy OnScene.TV
Photo via OnScene.TV

Yes, it was a real downpour in much of the Southland Monday morning, making driving dangerous and forcing commuters to arrive late to work to start the week.

While residents were in for possible heavy early morning rain, it was expected to taper off by the time afternoon arrives, the National Weather Service said Monday.

By about 6 a.m., a third of inch had fallen in Ontario.

The rain — which was to start falling in the Southland as early as 2 a.m. — is generated by a weather phenomenon known as an atmospheric river, according to NWS meteorologist Scott Sukup, who said a flash flood watch was in effect through noon for regional burn areas.

The storm could be moderate to heavy, lasting through the morning commute and dropping as much as three-fourths-of-an-inch of precipitation in the Los Angeles Basin to two inches in the foothill and mountain areas, Sukup said.

“There could be some issues for the morning rush before 8 or 9 a.m,” he said.

There is another chance of rain Tuesday night into Wednesday and the weather will be “unsettled” through Thursday with a chance of more showers, Sukup said.

Unlike many of the storms that strike the Southland, the one approaching hails not from the Gulf of Alaska but from the west, produced by a long and narrow column of water vapor in the atmosphere called an atmospheric river.

Such phenomena account for between 30 and 50 percent of annual precipitation on the West Coast, the NWS said.

While making for difficult traffic conditions, the rain is normal fare for local winters, Sukup said.

“We’re pretty much on track for normal rainfall this year,” he said.

—City News Service

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