The Heaviest Downpour In Seven Years Is Passing Through Los Angeles
If Lou Reed is to be believed (and, yes, he is) then "any rainy day you can dance those blues away." Well, fellow Angelenos, put on your dancing shoes, because we're in for
some a lot of rain. Joe Srirda, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, told LAist that two to four inches of rain is expected to fall along coastal and valley regions through Monday morning. Foothill and mountain regions should expect three to six inches of rain for the same period.
"It will be the strongest storm in several years," Srirda predicted.
He further cautioned that Monday will see a winter weather advisory in the mountains, as the snow level dips to 3,500 feet by late Monday, and sustained winds of 25 to 40 m.p.h., with gusts up to 60 m.p.h., keep residents on alert.
The storm is already causing predictable havoc on the Southland.
City News Service reports that Hermosa Beach has closed its pier until further notice. Farther south, the Orange County Fire Authority is preparing for flooding in Silverado Canyon.
"There's no flooding as of yet (in the Silverado)," OCFA Capt. Alan Wilkes began. "We've gone unified command with the U.S. Forest Service and we've upstaffed our swift water (rescue team). ...We'll definitely be prepared when the rain hits."
The National Weather Service has issued an urban and small stream flooding advisory throughout Los Angeles County.
According to the Los Angeles Times, years of drought and fire have heightened the threat from another rainy day problem: mudslides.
“There’s a competition between the growth of the mountains and the erosion from the rainstorms,” U.S. Geological Survey hydrologist Jason Kean, a hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, said. “They’re in this constant battle.”
“It’s truly a battle,” Liza Whitmore, a spokeswoman for CalTrans, added.
"In Southern California’s unburned areas, 10 inches of rainfall during the winter is needed to nearly saturate the ground," Kean continued. "After that point, a burst of rain of just one-quarter of an inch an hour can trigger widespread shallow landslides, including debris flow."
Since July 1, downtown Los Angeles has received 11.33 inches of rain as of Friday, which is 178% of average at this point of the winter, the Times notes. Santa Barbara has received 12.03 inches, which is 149% of average. But for burned areas, mud and debris flows can strike with only intense rainfall, even if the ground is not saturated."
Silver lining, though: Monday should bring some thunderstorms. A rare treat for Los Angeles.