More Rain To Hit L.A. Wednesday (Followed By Even More Rain)
If Shirley Manson's happy only when it rains, she must be entering a stage of nirvana right now, because L.A. has been getting plenty of moisture. December, in fact, was the wettest month recorded in downtown L.A. since 2010. And now we're getting word that the gravy train will continue rolling, as three storm systems are expected to hit L.A. in the upcoming days.
The first storm is expected to move in on early Wednesday evening, and will remain through Thursday. Forecasters say that the county should expect about an inch to half-an-inch of rain, with most of it falling on Wednesday night. Elevations above 5,000 feet are expected to see four to eight inches of snowfall.
We'll have only a few hours of dry respite, as the next storm system will come barreling in during the day on Friday. The heaviest rainfall should happen during the late afternoon, with intermittent showers expected for the night. The county should see one to one-and-a-half inches of rain, and mountain areas could see as much as 3 inches. Elevations above 5,000 feet may see anywhere from eight to 16 inches of snow.
If you're seeing a pattern of increasing severity, you're totally on point, as the third storm system may be the wettest of all. This storm could arrive early Sunday afternoon and continue throughout Monday. According to Joe Sirard, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, the rainfall from this system may be "fairly sustained" and "very persistent." We could expect one-and-a-half to three inches of rain in the county. Mountain areas could get as much as five inches. As for snow, it's still too early to tell how much will be falling, but Sirard says we can expect several inches at elevations above 5,000 feet.
What's the cause of this triple-headed wave of storms? As we reported last week, an "atmospheric river" was behind a string of recent showers, but Sirard says that this isn't the cause. An atmospheric river would bring in moisture from the tropics, and it just isn't the case this time around.
As Sirard notes, much of California's drought crisis could be blamed on what scientists deemed the "Ridiculously Resilient Ridge," a high atmospheric pressure that, for several consecutive winters, had hovered over the Northeastern Pacific and steered winter storms away from California. Sirard said that the ridge's effects have been absent lately, meaning the storms are given the green light to saunter into the Golden State.
But it's not all roses. Sirard did his civic duty and told us to remind readers to stay safe out there. "If you live in an area that had seen recent wildfires, you'll want to watch out for rock and mud slides. This is also dangerous in canyon areas," said Sirard. "And, in general, be cautious of flash floods. Also expect some travel delays." For updates and advisories, you can check in with the National Weather Service's website or their Twitter.
And, in case you're wondering, Sirard says "We're still officially in a drought." Though, as we'd noted this weekend, victory may be in sight for some regions of California.