A winter storm is hitting the Southland Wednesday, with some mountain areas potentially seeing more than a foot of snow and the rest of the region expected to see rainy conditions through Friday.
The National Weather Service said minor flooding is likely in Southern Los Angeles County, with some minor mud and debris flows possible across the southern portion of the Bobcat and Ranch2 burn areas. Officials also warned of possible power outages.
Some locations that could experience flooding include Long Beach, Alhambra, Downtown Los Angeles, Whittier, Pasadena, Inglewood, Griffith Park, Hollywood, Culver City, Universal City, Mount Wilson, Torrance, West Covina, Burbank, Beverly Hills, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach and North Hollywood, Monrovia, Azusa, the NWS said.
Forecasters said there could be three to six hours of steady rain starting in the early hours Wednesday, followed by “off-and-on-again showers” into Thursday, along with “a few periods of more organized bands of showers Wednesday afternoon and evening.”
The rain could persist into Friday, the NWS said. Dry weather is expected to return by Friday night and continue through the weekend. Gusty winds were also in the forecast.
Meanwhile, a winter storm warning is in effect until 10 p.m. Thursday for the Los Angeles County mountains, excluding the Santa Monica range, with the National Weather Service anticipating snow accumulations of 6 to 12 inches above 4,500 feet, down to a dusting for elevations around 3,000 feet. The snowy conditions will be joined by southwest winds of 20 to 35 mph, with gusts up to 50 mph.
Forecasters warned that conditions will make driving hazardous in the county’s northern reaches, with the Golden State (5) and Antelope Valley (14) freeways likely to be affected.
“A cold storm system will bring rain and low elevation snow to the region … through Thursday evening, potentially causing significant mountain travel issues including Interstate 5,” according to the NWS. “There will be a slight chance of thunderstorms, especially Wednesday through Thursday. It will be breezy to windy at times and very cool.”
The Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management urged residents to be prepared for possible power outages, and to be careful on the roads.
“Rainfall has finally arrived once again in L.A. County, and residents should practice rain safety tips during morning commutes and be prepared for power outages if they should occur, especially since many individuals are working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kevin McGowan, director of the County Office of Emergency Management.
“Weather-activated shelters are also available to help keep persons experiencing homelessness out of the rain for several days, until the current storm passes.”
Due to the wet forecast, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority announced that weather-activated shelters would be open from 5 p.m. Tuesday until 7 a.m. Friday at Loma Alta Park in Altadena; Glassell Park Recreation Center; Mary Bethune, Enterprise and Leon Washington parks in South Los Angeles; and Alondra Park in Torrance.
Information about shelters is available by calling 211 or 800-548-6047.