LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A slow-moving storm system is expected to reach the Southland tonight, but forecasters said it is unlikely to trigger debris flows, even over areas denuded by wildfires.
The rain likely will last through Wednesday, the first day of Spring 2019. Snow is likely in the San Gabriel Mountains, and there will be a slight chance of thunderstorms, according to a National Weather Service statement.
“Partial clearing is expected Thursday into Friday, with a slight chance of light rain Friday night through Saturday,” it said.
Forecasters said there remains uncertainty regarding rainfall amounts due to the expected showery nature of the storm and the possibility of thunderstorms. But in general, amounts should range between a tenth and a quarter of an inch in Los Angeles County, with a quarter-inch and a half-inch possible over points north. Up to an inch is possible in heavier showers or thunderstorms.
Rainfall rates should stay under a quarter-inch per hour but could top out at a half-inch anywhere in a thunderstorm.
“The threat for debris flows are minimal. Impacts will likely stay confined to travel issues from wet roads,” according to the statement.
The snow level is expected to remain in the 5,000- to 6,000-foot range but could drop to 4,000 feet Wednesday morning in the most unstable airmass. We could see a dusting of snow on some mountain roads, but accumulations should stay above 5,500 feet, according to the statement.
Some gusty south winds are expected today into early Wednesday but they may be under advisory-strength. A wind advisory points to winds or gusts of 35 miles per hour.
“Due to the slow movement of the system, we could still see scattered showers anywhere on Thursday,” the statement said, and temperatures will remain below normal.
Showers with a dusting of snow on mountain roads are possible on Thursday, forecasters said. Gusty northwest winds will create difficult driving conditions. High surf and dangerous rip currents are expected over the weekend.
Along the Southland coast, a high surf advisory will be in force from 5 a.m. Wednesday to 3 p.m. Thursday, with surf of 4-7 feet pounding the shore.
“Minor coastal flooding is possible over low-lying coastal areas such as beach parking lots and bike pathways,” warned an NWS statement. “There is an increased risk for ocean drowning. Rip currents can pull swimmers and surfers out to sea. Large breaking waves can cause injury, wash people off beaches and rocks and capsize small boats near shore.
“Swim near a lifeguard. If caught in a rip current, relax and float. Don't swim against the current. If able, swim in a direction following the shoreline. If unable to escape, face the shore and call or wave for help.”
Additionally, dense fog is expected over coastal waters this morning.
“Mariners should be prepared for abrupt visibility changes down to one nautical mile or less. Reduce speeds and be on the lookout for exposed rocks and other vessels, including large ships in the shipping lanes,” warned an NWS statement. “Use radar or GPS navigation if available, and consider remaining in harbor if such equipment is unavailable.”
Dense fog will also enshroud roads this morning, reducing visibility to a quarter-mile or less, warned the NWS, which issued a dense fog advisory scheduled to be in effect in L.A. County until 9 a.m. Forecasters said the fog would affect the 110 and 710 freeways from the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach to the 405 freeway, as well as Pacific Coast Highway through Malibu to the Ventura County Line.
The NWS forecast partly cloudy skies today and highs of 56 degrees on Mount Wilson; 60 in Avalon; 66 at LAX; 67 in Long Beach; 70 in Downtown L.A.; 71 in San Gabriel, Burbank, Woodland Hills, Saugus, Palmdale and Lancaster; and 72 in Pasadena. Temperatures will be up to 8 degrees lower Wednesday amid showers, and the same amid partly cloudy skies on Thursday.
Partly cloudy skies were also in Orange County's forecast today, along with highs of 56 on Santiago Peak; 59 in San Clemente; 61 in Laguna Beach; 62 in Newport Beach; 63 on Ortega Highway at 2,600 feet; 65 in Fremont Canyon; 67 in Trabuco Canyon; 68 in Fullerton; 69 in Yorba Linda, Irvine and Mission Viejo; and 70 in Anaheim. Temperatures of up to 7 degrees lower were expected Wednesday amid showers.
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