Storm That Dumped Record Rainfall in Parts of SoCal Could Be Preview of Coming El Niño: Experts

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Cars slow down while going through deep water on the 110 Freeway on Tuesday morning. (Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

It swamped streets, spilled into buildings, sent mud in motion and roiled rivers where rescue crews aided those swept up in the water overflow.

Then the downpour that stunned the drought-weary Southland with its intensity slunk off in the sun.

But if experts are right, the deluge offered a preview for the wet El Niño winter ahead.

The storm dumped more than two inches of rain on downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Alhambra and other areas in just a few hours. That made it the third-wettest storm for a September in downtown L.A. since the late 1870s, said Bill Patzert, a climatologist with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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