California to See Flooding Rainfall as Winter Weather (Mostly) Avoids L.A.

The state will be hit once again, leaving residents to prepare for a fresh soaking by a new atmospheric river storm
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Days of rain are expected for parts of the Southland as another wet weather system is anticipated to arrive early Friday morning, in addition to today’s rainy conditions in parts of the state—but the Los Angeles region will likely avoid the brunt of the storm.

Forecasters warned Thursday that a new atmospheric river storm will barrel across California, bringing heavy rain, strong winds, and thunderstorms with it. Heavy precipitation falls are expected in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties and there will be a “significant drop off in rain” south of Point Conception.

“The next West Coast system is taking shape,” The Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere at California State University tweeted. “California is set to receive heavy, flooding rain and huge amounts of snow.”

Light rain is expected to begin in parts of Los Angeles County after midnight Friday morning, continuing through much of the day.

“While the duration of rain will be similar, rain rates will take a huge hit, down to mostly under a third of an inch per hour, as there is very little upslope flow there,” according to the NWS. “Most populated areas in L.A. County are expected to get an inch or less from this storm and up to around two inches in the mountains. And no snow from this one.”

The true threat comes from the floods. Right now, the National Weather Service classifies the flood threat as “moderate,” but with rain, melting snowpack in the mountains, and arctic air combining, it’s still safe to expect further warnings going into the weekend.

Forecasters say that the snowpack at higher elevations is so significant that it is likely to absorb the rain. Areas below 4,000 feet will experience the true short end of the stick, with melting and runoff hitting it harder.

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