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Southern California to see biggest storm since February, forecasters say

Southern California to see biggest storm since February, forecasters say
Arseniy Kalistratoe, 6, from left; his mother, Julia; his sister, Uliana, 2; and his father, Andre, use their rain gear as they stroll on the pier at Seal Beach on Feb 28. (Cheryl A. Guerrero / Los Angeles Times)

Get out those rain boots and umbrellas. Forecasters are expecting the biggest rainstorm since February to hit the Los Angeles area.

A Pacific Northwest weather system should bring heavy rains to Southern California starting Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service. Downtown Los Angeles is expected to get 1 to 2 inches of rain, and the San Gabriel Mountains could see up to 2 to 3 inches, said Bonnie Bartling, a weather specialist with the agency. 

The storm could produce snow at an elevation of 7,500 feet, she said.

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Showers are expected to continue into Wednesday and Thursday, bringing much needed rain to the drought-stricken region.

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This would be the area's first major rainstorm since the end of February, when a three-day storm brought 4 inches of precipitation.

Since July 1, the start of the rain calendar, downtown L.A. has received less than half an inch of rain, said Jet Propulsion Laboratory climatologist Bill Patzert. This storm could bring the area up to normal levels, which is 2 inches for this time of year, he said.

The rain is not expect to put a dent in California's persistent drought, however.

"One storm is not a drought-buster," Patzert said. "But hopefully it is a small down payment and a preview of the coming attractions for the next few months."

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