LOS ANGELES, CA – A cold storm from the Gulf of Alaska brought much-needed rain to Southern California on Thursday, but the real deluge is yet to come.
The first powerful storm of the season is expected to move in Monday, bringing up to 3 inches of rain along the coast and valleys and up to 5 inches in the foothills with a thick layer of up to two feet of snow in mountains .
Consider Thursday’s weak storm just a preview of what’s to come on Monday and Tuesday, when “the most significant storm of the season passes,” according to the NWS.
The strong Pacific storm is expected to tap into an atmospheric river, bringing heavy rainfall, forecasters said. It will be the first significant rainfall to come after one of the driest Novembers in Los Angeles in decades.
In the meantime, the cold front will keep Southland wet and cold – almost 10 degrees below normal. Forecasters warned that “cool daytime highs and overnight cold lows” will persist through the weekend, ahead of the “powerful storm system” to hit the region on Monday and Tuesday.
High temperatures along the coast are expected to persist in the low 50s and low 60s for the rest of the week, and in the low 60s in the valleys and downtown Los Angeles.
By midmorning Thursday, the weak cold front that arrived overnight had dropped small amounts of rain in many areas, most of which saw less than a quarter inch, according to the National Weather Service. Snow levels fell to around 6,000 feet, with higher elevations receiving several inches of rain.
Forecasters said light snow could still fall Thursday evening in the northern county near the Kern County line, “but no accumulation (is) expected on Interstate 5 above the Vineyard” .
Precipitation is expected to decrease by the end of Thursday. A wind advisory, however, will remain in effect until 3 a.m. Friday in the mountains of Los Angeles County, excluding the Santa Monica Range, with sustained winds of 20 to 35 mph expected, as well that gusts up to 50 mph. A wind advisory will be in effect until 9 p.m. Thursday in Antelope Valley, where similar wind speeds are expected.
“Maximum precipitation rates will be near and may exceed debris flow thresholds for recently burned areas,” according to the NWS.
City and Patch News Service member Paige Austin contributed to this report.