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Storm dampens region, but falls short of rainfall predictions for Southern California

Storm dampens region, but falls short of rainfall predictions for Southern California
John Osmundson gets his speed walk in under foreboding skies as people work out around the Rose Bowl on Wednesday morning before a rainstorm was expected to hit. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

A storm that was predicted to cause moderate rainfall in Southern California didn’t generate much moisture this week, but scattered showers led to minor street flooding in Corona overnight as a low-pressure system began heading out of the region.

About three-quarters of an inch of rain fell on the San Gabriel Mountains during a 15-minute span late Wednesday, marking the most significant rainfall in Los Angeles County. Portions of south Orange and San Diego counties saw scattered showers that dropped between a quarter-inch and a half-inch of rain, according to the National Weather Service.

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No significant damage was reported from the rain.

The eastern part of the region, including San Bernardino, could see some lingering showers through Thursday as the storm continues to move out, making way for warmer temperatures Friday and Saturday.

Late Saturday, another small storm is expected to roll in, bringing about a 20% chance of rain on Sunday. Temperatures are predicted to linger in the high 60s and low 70s throughout much of Los Angeles and Orange counties next week, the weather service said.

“Next week will start to feel a lot more like fall,” said Kathy Hoxsie, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

The lackluster rainfall provided residents near the Holy fire and Cranston fire burn areas in Orange and Riverside counties with some relief. Authorities in those areas had begun warning residents of the possibility of mudslides several days before the storm hit.

Damage from wildfires creates a situation that prevents soil in recently burned areas from absorbing rainwater. Enough rain can lead to fast-moving flows that contain mud, debris, trees and boulders that can be several feet deep and deadly for those in their path. The devastation often comes without warning.

Hoxsie said if the rain that fell over the San Gabriel Mountains had been centered over a burn area, it could have caused damage. Heavy rain early in the fall isn’t ideal because rain gutters that haven’t yet been cleared can back up and cause flooding, she said.

Officials had predicted about half an inch of rain in much of the region and up to an inch in others.

“We’re not disappointed that we didn’t get heavy rainfall, but we are disappointed we didn’t get the amounts right,” Hoxsie said.

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