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Climate and Environment

A Powerful Storm Hit Southern California

A bolt of lightning hits the ground in the distance with the distinctive dome of the Griffith Observatory visible in the hills at left.
Heavy rain is expected Monday night into Tuesday evening in the L.A. region.
(Courtesy of Mary Hawley)
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A powerful storm is heading our way, bringing rain, wind and snow to Southern California.

Monday night and Tuesday morning (Dec. 13 and 14), we can expect up to three inches of rainfall in coastal areas and the valleys. Mountains and foothill areas could receive up to six inches of rain. Above 7,000 feet, most of that precipitation will arrive as snow, up to three feet of it. It all depends on the amount of moisture in the storm system.

It will also be cold. Temperatures today will be in the mid to upper 50s in coastal and valley areas. Tuesday night, temps could dip into the lower 40s and 30s in the mountains and part of the San Fernando Valley. In the Antelope Valley, it will get even colder with temperatures dropping into the 20s.

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Storms like these aren't unusual for this time of year but these temperatures are below normal. In downtown L.A., normal temperatures for this time of year are 67 degrees.

“We’re gonna be well below normal for the next couple of days,” says Richard Thompson, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service.

Along with the snow, we can expect southeasterly winds up to 65 miles per hour in the mountains and 40 miles per hour across the coastal and valley areas late tonight and tomorrow.

The heavy rain will last until Tuesday as light showers are expected in the evening.

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Things will dry up on Wednesday.

“There’s enough chance of a weak system Thursday and Friday, but that system as it does come to fruition will be nowhere near what we’re going to experience tonight and tomorrow,” Thompson said.

L.A. County will be under a flash flood watch in effect Tuesday.

Authorities are asking residents to survey their properties and make sure they’re safe from floodwaters, says Brian Humphrey, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Fire Department.

“Sometimes a simple task, such as removing endangered items from low lying areas is all that is necessary,” Humphrey says. “Cleaning drains, gutters, and downspouts can clearly make a difference when the sky begins to rain.”

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Residents can receive up to 25 free sandbags at their local fire station.

Stay safe, stay cozy, Southern California.

What questions do you have about Southern California?