LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Another powerful storm slammed the Southland Tuesday, with potentially heavy rain and gusty winds expected to continue through the evening and raising fears of localized flooding.
National Weather Service forecasters said the early stage of the storm was "underwhelming" as it moved faster than anticipated over San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, with rain rates lower than expected and resulting in lower overall rainfall totals. But they noted that heavy downpours were still possible through the afternoon and evening as the system moves through Los Angeles County, still raising the possibility of 2 and 4 inches of rain in coastal and valley areas, with some areas possibly receiving up to 5 inches.
Mountains and foothills could potentially get up to 8 inches of rain, with most areas receiving between 3 and 6.
The mountains and foothills will receive the highest rates of rain, possibly between a half-inch and 1 inch per hour, forecasters said.
The storm is the latest in what has been a series of "atmospheric river" events to douse the state and Southland.
Rain began falling in the pre-dawn hours in parts of Los Angeles County, the brunt of the storm began arriving early Tuesday afternoon, with the rain expected to continue into the evening.
"Rain is expected to taper off later tonight (Tuesday) into Wednesday morning but possibly some lingering showers in eastern LA County into Wednesday afternoon," according to the NWS.
A flood watch is in effect for Orange County, including the Santa Ana Mountains, from 5 p.m. Tuesday until 2 p.m. Wednesday.
A flood watch will be in effect through Wednesday morning in the western Santa Monica Mountains, and from Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday morning in the rest of the area, with the exception of the Antelope Valley. Forecasters warned that "extensive street flooding is likely."
Although the storm will be particularly wet, forecasters said the snow level will remain above 8,000 feet, with little to no accumulations anticipated.
Los Angeles County mountains and the Antelope Valley will likely see some strong winds during the storm, with 30 to 50 mph winds gusting up to 60 mph. The rest of the area will likely see winds in the 20 to 40 mph range.
Dry weather is expected to return Wednesday night through Thursday night, with another smaller system sliding into the area by Friday and lasting into the weekend, although the bulk of that storm will likely remain to the north, resulting in a mostly dry but cool weekend..