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Brace Yourselves: A Hard Rain's A' Gonna Fall In SoCal This Week

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Riders on the storm (Photo by Neil Kremer via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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Are you ready for El Niño? Because it looks like it's almost here.According to the National Weather Service (NWS), a series of storms will be hitting SoCal this week, and bring with them rain, snow, high winds, and a great flood risk, beginning Sunday.

"The overall pattern that is bringing us these storms is finally looking like what we would expect the El Niño pattern to look like that it so far hasn't this summer," said John Dumas of the NWS.

The NWS predicts between 2 and 3.5 inches of rain are predicted to fall across the coastal and valley areas through Friday, with between 3 and 5 inches in the mountains.

That amount of rain in such a short period could make for some hazardous conditions, like flooding and debris flows; especially in areas that had seen fires recently, which KTLA reports include Colby, Madison, Powerhouse, Madre, Solimar and Springs burn areas. If you live in those areas, authorities advise keeping up on changing weather reports, and stocking up on sand bags.

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"The exact timing and intensity of each weather system is still in question, but the overall weather pattern appears to be a wet one for the coming week," the NWS said in a statement.

The first big rain of the week is expected to arrive Sunday afternoon or evening, but an even bigger storm will hit on Tuesday morning, and stay throughout the day—this one's expected to be the biggest cause of flash flooding. There will be another storm on Wednesday and Thursday, but with somewhat decreased levels of rainfall. As for snowfall, about 2 feet of new snow is forecast for the mountain areas above 6,000 feet this week, but there's also potential for snow to fall in areas as low as 3,500 feet from Wednesday through Friday. If so, the snow could cause hazardous driving conditions next week in the mountains, and across the Grapevine.

A "Beach Hazards Statement" has also been issued, which warns of "very large, possibly damaging" surf from Sunday night through next Thursday.

The NWS Twitter has this handy graphic for your reference:

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In a blog post last week, NASA wrote that these latest images follow a "classic pattern of a fully developed El Niño", and that it also resembled one from the powerful and record-setting 1997 El Niño taken around the same time. The post continued, "The images show nearly identical, unusually high sea surface heights along the equator in the central and eastern Pacific: the signature of a big and powerful El Niño."

Here we go!