A storm moving east into Southern California from the Pacific Ocean was expected to bring heavy rainfall and high winds Tuesday and could pose the threat of mud and debris flows in areas burned in wildfires.
The heavy downpour was expected to begin by early Tuesday morning, making for a messy rush-hour commute with hazardous driving conditions.
A flash-flood watch was in effect beginning Tuesday morning through late Tuesday night for recent burn areas of Los Angeles and Ventura counties, including the areas near the Springs, Colby, Powerhouse and Williams fires. A flash-flood watch was issued for the same timeframe for parts of Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
The storm was expected to be the biggest since February, when 4 inches of rain fell over three days, according to the Los Angeles Times. This week’s rainfall was not expected to change the region’s ongoing exceptional drought, a Jet Propulsion Laboratory climatologist told the newspaper.
Flash-flood watches could be issued in wildfire burn areas, and rock and mudslides could occur along the Pacific Coast Highway and on canyon roads in the Santa Monica Mountains, according to the weather service.
The second storm could be destructive, a weather service meteorologist told the Times on Monday.
“The problem is it’s only two days after we’ve had a pretty good storm. When you don’t give the soil a chance to dry out, we’re expecting it could be a very notable impact,” meteorologist Kathy Hoxsie told the Times. “Everyone’s going to get a good soaking again.”
A section of the PCH in Ventura County remained closed Monday due to rock fall that occurred during Sunday’s rainstorm.
The weekend storm brought under an inch of rain to most areas around Los Angeles, with more precipitation in the Santa Monica Mountains, weather service records show.
The forthcoming storm was expected to be much wetter, bringing 1 to 2 inches of rain to coastal and valley areas, and 2 to 5 inches in the foothills and mountains.
A burst of heavy rainfall lasting several hours could bring up to one-half inch of rain per hour Tuesday, the weather service stated.
Gusty winds could exceed 50 mph in the mountains.
Scattered showers could last through Wednesday night.
The City of Los Angeles provided an online list of locations where residents can get sandbags and sand. Shovels are also provided, but residents must fill their own bags, according to the website.