Powerful Pacific storm to bring heavy rain, winds and mountain snow to SoCal

Local news

A powerful Pacific storm system is expected to engulf the West Coast and bring heavy rain, mountain snow and strong wind to Southern California.

The National Weather Service warned that “the most significant storm of the season” is expected to come on the heels of a chilly but dry weekend and soak the region and coat the mountains beginning Monday afternoon and evening.

“We’re still on-track for a powerful storm late Monday and Tuesday,” weather service officials said in a tweet Sunday afternoon. “Winds are looking stronger, so we’ve increased those as well as snow totals in the mountains.”

Valleys and coastal areas are expected to get 1 to 3 inches of rain, while the foothills and mountains were expected to collect 3 to 5 inches of rainfall. Desert areas are expected to get up to an inch of rain.

Gusts of up to 45 to 65 miles per hour were expected to whip through Southern California’s mountains, the National Weather Service said.

Weather officials expect snowfall to start at 7,000 feet for much of the storm (a foot or more is possible). But once the cold front passes, snow levels are expected to fall later Tuesday to as low as 3,500 feet.

Officials were also monitoring fire-scarred areas that could prompt hazardous debris flows and flash flooding amid the incoming rainstorm.

On Sunday, an evacuation warning was issued for residents living near the Alisal Burn Area “due to potential for flooding, mud, debris.” The warning affects those who live west of Las Flores Canyon, east of Mariposa Reina, south of West Camino Cielo, and down to the ocean, according to NWS.

In San Bernardino County on Monday, officials issued an evacuation warning and opened evacuation centers.

Los Angeles Fire Department officials reminded residents to be aware of the potential for mud and debris flow dangers associated with rain.

Those who live near a recent burn area are advised to do the following:

  • Acquire any needed sandbags and instructional materials at your local Los Angeles County fire station. Click here for locations near you.
  • Have an emergency plan in place that is easy for all family members to understand.
  • Monitor radio and TV news closely for information about weather conditions and flooding in your area.
  • If an evacuation is ordered, be prepared to leave immediately. Have alternate evacuation routes out of your neighborhood.
  • If your neighborhood is evacuated, identify important items to take (e.g., computers, photos, important documents, medications, and other essential items for your family and pets).
  • Have enough food and water to supply your family for at least a 72-hour period.
  • Always remember to include a radio and flashlight with fresh batteries in your emergency kit.

For general storm safety, LAFD advises the following:

  • Stay away from flood control channels, catch basins, canyons, and natural waterways which are vulnerable to flooding during periods of heavy rain.
  • Do not attempt to cross flooded areas and never enter moving water on foot or in a vehicle.
  • If flooding traps you in your vehicle, stay in your vehicle (if possible) and call 9-1-1. If necessary, wait on top of your vehicle for assistance.
  • If you see someone who has been swept into moving water, do not enter the water and attempt a rescue. Immediately call 9-1-1 and, if possible, throw a rope or some type of flotation device to them.

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