Drenching storm in Central California will bring only light rain to L.A.

Southern California will get a drizzle of rain Tuesday night into Wednesday morning ahead of a few days of clear skies and sunny weather, the National Weather service said.

The storm -- moving east and reaching down from Northern California -- will have wrung out most of its moisture by the time it hits Ventura and Los Angeles counties, said meteorologist Dave Bruno of the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

“We keep getting these systems that literally fall apart” when they reach Southern California, Bruno said.

Malibu could receive about a tenth of an inch of rain, with Pasadena expected to collect only about half of that, the Weather Service said. Most of the rain is expected to stretch from Central to Northern California. It’s the same storm behavior forecasters saw in California last week.

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January storms have dumped significant amounts of snow across the Sierra Nevada, contributing to the state’s drought-depleted water reserves, but the Southland has yet to experience the continuous drenching associated with a strong El Niño.

El Niño is a weather phenomenon characterized by the warming of Pacific Ocean waters along the equator, west of Peru. This warming alters typical jet stream air currents, causing them to drive a steady procession of subtropical storms over Southern California, among other global effects.  

Many of the storms that have hit the northern half of the state this year have been typical winter storms not associated with El Niño, experts said.

“Typically we do see the heaviest effects in February and March so there’s still eight weeks of those to occur,” Bruno said with a hint of optimism. “That type of stuff is possible.”

There is no more rain in the Southland’s forecast for the next 10 days after Tuesday night, Bruno said. Temperatures will hover in the upper 60s and peak in the lower 70s Thursday before dipping again in the weekend, Bruno said.

A high surf advisory that has been in place since the weekend remained in effect Tuesday, officials said.

Staff writer Rong-Gong Lin II contributed to this report.

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna.

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