Photo courtesy of OnSceneTV
Photo courtesy of OnSceneTV

Three consecutive storms forecast to generate rain, snow and gusty winds will strike Southern California from late Wednesday through next Monday, and high surf will pound the coast, the National Weather Service said Monday.

The first storm will move over the region Wednesday night through Thursday, accompanied by moderate rain and mountain snow, according to an NWS statement. The snow level will be near 5,000 feet, with 4 to 8 inches of snow expected above that elevation.

A more powerful storm is expected Friday, bringing moderate to heavy rain and mountain snow, with 6-16 inches of snow above 5,000 feet, the statement said. However, snow levels may drop to 3,500 to 4,000 feet, creating winter driving conditions over major mountain passes such as the Tejon Pass. Gusty south winds are also expected, it said.

Details on the third storm, expected from Sunday to Monday, remain blurry this morning but it is expected to pack the potential for heavy rain, mountain snow and strong south winds, according to the NWS.

The storms expected Friday and Sunday are expected to raise the risk of flash flooding and debris flows in recent burn areas as well as urban and small stream flooding, the NWS warned.

“There will … be a significant risk of mud and rockslides, especially near canyon roadways. Slick roads are likely, with a risk of hydroplaning in heavy rain, with ice and snow on mountain roads. Finally, due to strong winds and saturated soils, there will be an increased risk of downed trees, especially during the Friday and Sunday/Monday storms,” according to the NWS statement.

As of this morning, the storms are projected to produce between a quarter-inch and an inch of rain from Wednesday night through Thursday and from 1 to 2 inches from late Thursday through early Saturday, with the third storm’s outcome still uncertain, according to the NWS.

Also expected are dangerous conditions for mariners across the Southland’s coastal waters later this week due to high surf, strong currents, and rising water levels, warned an NWS statement on ocean conditions. Southerly winds will gust up to 30 knots across coastal waters Wednesday night and Thursday night ahead of a couple of frontal systems crossing the area.

A large swell will move through coastal waters starting Thursday, and a very large west swell will arrive Friday into Saturday, it said. The second swell will pose a hazard in the form of big surf, coastal erosion and flooding, along with strong currents and a risk of sneaker waves.

“Those planning to visit the coast during this time should use caution on area beaches — stay well back from the water, stay off of jetties and rocks, and never turn your back on the ocean,” warned the statement. “Much larger waves may wash onshore without warning. West-facing harbor entrances may see breaking waves due to the very large swell. Mariners without proper experience should consider remaining in port during this time.”

Mostly partly cloudy skies were forecast in L.A. County Monday, along with highs of 55 degrees Fahrenheit in Palmdale; 56 in Lancaster; 57 on Mount Wilson; 62 in Avalon and at LAX; 61 in Saugus; 63 in Long Beach; 64 in downtown L.A. and Burbank; 65 in Pasadena; and 66 in San Gabriel and Woodland Hills.

Sunny skies were forecast in Orange County, along with highs of 60 in Laguna Beach; 61 in San Clemente; 62 in Newport Beach; 65 in Yorba Linda, Fullerton, Anaheim and Mission Viejo; and 66 in Irvine.

The NWS forecast a rise in temperatures amid sunny skies Tuesday — 3-4 degrees in L.A. County, 2-3 degrees in Orange County — then a dip amid cloudy skies Wednesday and another dip — down to the high 50s and low 60s — starting Thursday amid rainfall, which will last until at least Monday.

—City News Service

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