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Season’s First Storm Brings Rain, Snow to SoCal; Flash Flood Watches in Place

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Flash flood watches and cold weather alerts are in place Wednesday as the season’s first storm brought rain, hail and snow to Southern California.

Scattered showers began falling Tuesday night and continued into the afternoon. Drivers could expect slick and dangerous conditions on all local freeways.

As of 6 p.m., Culver City had received just over a half-inch of rain, while downtown Los Angeles was drenched with 0.63 inches, the National Weather Service reported.

Rainfall totals in Pyramid Lake and the San Gabriel Dam were above 1 1/4 inches, the highest in L.A. County, according to the weather service. At 1.11 inches, Whittier Narrows had the third highest total rainfall.

Forecasters predicted the county would receive between one-quarter and three-quarters of an inch of rain through Thursday.

This marks the first significant rain since September, and the first major storm to hit Southern California since May.

Lightning Danger

Dangerous lightning strikes prompted officials to evacuate the beach and pier areas in Santa Monica and Seal Beach Wednesday morning.

Burn Area Warnings

Residents in the recent Getty Fire burn areas have been warned of the possibility of mudslides and flooding. Officials have placed K-rails around parts of the community in an attempt to steer any mud or debris away from homes.

In Orange County, voluntary evacuations are in place for residents in the Holy Fire burn areas of Trabuco Canyon. The voluntary evacuation is for homes in the Trabuco Creek, Rose Canyon and Mystic Oaks/El Cariso areas.

Flash Flood Watch

Periods of possible heavy rain have prompted officials to issue a flash flood watch through 1 a.m. Thursday for parts of San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

Thunderstorms, especially during the afternoon hours, could bring heavy downpours and flooding, the Weather Service stated.

Cold Weather Alert

Cold temperatures are moving in along with the wet weather. Los Angeles County's Department of Public Health issued a cold weather alert for wind chill temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit in some Los Angeles County Mountain areas Wednesday.

“Children, the elderly, and people with disabilities or special medical needs are especially vulnerable during cold weather. Extra precaution should be taken to ensure they don’t get too cold when they are outside,” L.A. County Health Officer Muntu Davis said in a news release.

Information on emergency preparedness can be found by calling 2-1-1 or visiting

Mountain Snow

Snow falls on a KTLA news van in Wrightwood on Nov. 20, 2019. (Credit: KTLA)

Snow falls on a KTLA news van in Wrightwood on Nov. 20, 2019. (Credit: KTLA)

Snow began falling Wednesday morning in our local mountains.

By 7:30 p.m., about 5 inches of snow had fallen in Big Bear — the highest total in Southern California, followed by 4.5 inches in Green Valley and 4 inches in Wrightwood.

Forecasters are calling for snow levels around 5,500 feet, with some areas receiving 4 to 8 inches. Elevations above 7,500 feet could get up to 10 inches.

Santa Barbara and Ventura counties can expect between .1 and .5 of an inch, according to the National Weather Service.

NWS issued a winter weather advisory for L.A. County mountain areas, other than the Santa Monica Mountains, that would remain in effect until 7 p.m. Thursday.

The snow prompted Caltrans to remind motorists that vehicles driving through snow in the mountain regions need to be equipped with chains.

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