Rain — And Possible Thunderstorms — Are Rolling Into Southern California
Find your umbrella, give yourself more time to get where you're going and expect to see way more crashes on L.A. roads: more rain is set to spritz Southern California.
A storm system is moving into the region Friday, and while the skies are expected to clear up Saturday afternoon, more rain is on tap for next week.
The National Weather Service warned this system's heaviest rain could fall in the burn zones of past fires in Southern California, including the Thomas Fire in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties and the Woolsey Fire in the Santa Monica Mountains. Up to ¾ inch of rain could fall per hour overnight into Saturday.
That brings a risk of "rockslides (and) shallow mud/debris flows possibly causing localized damage," NWS forecasters said.
The Ventura County Fire Department said it's staffing up in preparation for the storm.
L.A. County Public Works has sent engineers to about 2,000 sites hit by the Woolsey Fire, said Mark Pestrella, the department's director.
Residents can request a hazard assessment of their property by calling (800) 675-4357. A report released by Cal Fire shows detailed illustrations of some of the properties at risk.
Later Friday, the California Department of Transportation said State Route 23 will be closed from Pacific Coast Highway to Mulholland Highway starting at 10 p.m. Friday as a precaution and Caltrans staff would be patrolling the area "24/7" over the next several days "for immediate response to flooding (and) slides."
Here are the projected rainfall amts for storm to affect SW Calif late Fri- Sat morning. Rain totals 1-2 with local 3" amts across SLO,SBA,western Ventura counties. Eastern Ventura/LA county expecting 0.50-1.00" with locally higher amts near tstms. #LArain #cawx #LAWeather #cawx pic.twitter.com/TnUVU18f12— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) January 11, 2019
There's also a possibility of thunderstorms and waterspouts in coastal waters, according to NWS officials.
Along the coast, a beach hazard statement is in effect through Sunday with surf up to 6 feet in L.A. County and possible 8 feet in Orange County.
Another series of storms is on the horizon starting Sunday and continuing into next Thursday. Forecasters say we could get up to 18 hours of heavy rain during that period.
Southern California needs all the rain it can get, since most of L.A. County remains in a severe drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Last year, L.A. got 32 percent of what's normal. So far this year, we're slightly behind the pace for our median rate, though the coming storms could put us back on track, or even ahead.
Reporter Sharon McNary contributed to this story.
1:05 p.m.: This article was updated with road closure information.
5:57 p.m.: This article was updated with more information about mudflow risks in burn zones.
This article was originally published at 11:06 a.m.