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

El Niño

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

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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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