Northern California was slammed by powerful storms over the weekend that dumped rain across coastal regions and plenty of snow in the Sierra, while Southern California was expected to see another round of showers and thunderstorms Monday after a rainy weekend.
Rain totals topped 8 inches in the coastal mountains of Monterey, Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties between Friday and Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. Cities and suburbs in the Bay Area saw totals ranging from 1.5 inches to more than 4 inches.
Some parts of the northern Sierra saw more than 7 inches of snow from the storms. Snowpack from the Sierra is a key source of water in California, which is in the midst of a four-year drought.
A series of storms since last fall have increased the snow pack compared to the previous few years. But experts say it's still not enough to make a major dent in the drought.
Southern California saw significantly less rain.
A storm that hit late Saturday and early Sunday brought more than 1 inch of rain in Bel-Air, Santa Monica and Oxnard. But rainfall was uneven across Los Angeles County, with Pasadena receiving about 1.4 inches, Pomona, about 2/3 of an inch, and Long Beach and Newhall, about 0.4 inches. Most of Orange County saw less than 2/3 of an inch.
A second, stronger storm system is forecast to arrive in the Southland on Sunday night, bringing rain, snow, high surf and windy conditions.
“It’s going to be a little bit colder and more unstable,” said Scott Sukup, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s office in Oxnard. “There could be some problems with accumulating snow Monday night and early Tuesday morning.”
The National Weather Service said snow levels could drop to 4,000 feet, possibly causing treacherous road conditions along the Interstate 5 Freeway in the Grapevine and other mountain canyons. Areas above 6,000 feet are forecast to receive between 5 to 10 inches of snow by Tuesday, while lower levels could see lighter accumulations, from a dusting to a few inches.
Thunderstorms could strike late Sunday through Monday, with periodic heavy rainfall increasing the likelihood of debris flows in recent burn areas.
Wind gusts could top 65 mph.
The rain should pass through by Tuesday. Dry conditions are expected to persist through Thursday, but the cold winds are likely to remain.