Rain will start light, go heavy during a week of wet weather for Southern California – Press Enterprise

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A rainstorm expected to reach Southern California on Friday night, Jan. 11, is not expected to generate flooding or debris flows in the footprints of last summer’s wildfires, but forecasters are watching a string of storms expected to follow well into next week.

National Weather Service meteorologist Rich Thompson said Thursday there will be “a very wet pattern” for the region, with the Friday-Saturday rainstorm followed by storms Sunday, then Tuesday-Wednesday, and then Thursday and Friday of next week, he said.

While the storms’ times and totals are still in flux for forecasters, Thompson said the Tuesday-Wednesday system “looks like a pretty potent storm,” with the reminder that “details are still kind of fuzzy” from several days out.

A NWS Los Angeles Office forecast said the quick succession of rainstorms “could pose risks for burn areas and possibly for other areas as well, especially as there will be very little recovery period between  storms, debris basins will be filling, and the ground will  (become) increasingly saturated.”

Even a low rainfall amount is a concern, Los Angeles County Department of Public Works spokesman Steven Frasher said Thursday, “just because of the nature of weather in Southern California. So there is a state of vigilance, even for a light rainfall predicted for the weekend.”

He said the county was focused on keeping roadways passable and storm channels clear, especially with the forecast of more rain to come.

The first winter storm of the season last week caused slides that poured mud and debris over Pacific Coast Highway near the Ventura County line in the area of the Woolsey fire,  and left vehicles trapped in the muck.

For the storm headed to Southern California on Friday, Thompson said areas from Los Angeles to San Diego counties and Inland could expect about one-half inch to one inch of rain.

The NWS Los Angeles/Oxnard office which covers the Woolsey and Thomas fire areas, said Thursday that forecast rainfall amounts for the first approaching storm were not expected to reach  levels for a burn-area flash flood watch.

Most of the first storm will arrive Saturday in the Inland area.

The Riverside County Emergency Management Department tweeted Thursday that debris flows were not anticipated from that storm for the Cranston fire area in the San Jacinto Mountains and the Holy fire burn area in western Riverside County near the Cleveland National Forest.

A storm in early December brought debris and mud flows in several Holy fire burn areas.

For the Orange County area affected by the Holy fire, “We are not expecting the level” of rainfall over the weekend to bring the mud or debris flows, Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Larry Kurtz said, adding that the rain can be an incentive to pick up sandbags and sand at Fire Authority stations.

Storm protection resources:

For Los Angeles County: www.lacounty.gov/LARAIN/

Orange County: www.ocfa.org

Riverside County: www.rivcoready.org

2019-01-11 02:30:00

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