A fierce winter storm that has flooded roads, toppled trucks with high winds and created treacherous conditions throughout the Sierra Nevada in Northern California is expected to clip Los Angeles on Wednesday.
However, forecasters say the Southland will avoid the brunt of the atmospheric river-fueled storm, which has been centered over the northern half of the state. That means the southern region will likely avoid the significant drenching the rest of the state has suffered during this warmer and wetter winter storm.
Atmospheric rivers are long, narrow bands of water vapor that are pushed across the Pacific Ocean by gusty winds. When strong enough, they can account for a disproportionate amount of the annual precipitation — between 30% and 40% — on the West Coast, according to experts. In 2016, a series of intense atmospheric rivers helped ease California’s epic drought by producing record rain and snow in Northern California.
L.A. is expected to receive less than a quarter of an inch of rain, while the Central Coast could see up to an inch of precipitation through Thursday, according to forecasters.
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