Storms to Bring Rain to Southland by Today
The second storm in less than a week is expected to bring rain to Southern California this afternoon, and a third storm should bring more by Monday.
Today’s fast-moving storm is expected to be a lot like the one that dropped about three-quarters of an inch of rain on Los Angeles last weekend, most of it within a few hours.
National Weather Service meteorologist John Gorman said light showers could spatter parts of Los Angeles County this morning, but the body of the storm probably won’t arrive until early afternoon.
“There will be some pretty steady rain after 1 or 2 p.m., but it won’t last that long,” Gorman said. He predicted a half-inch to an inch of rain downtown, with 1 1/2 inches or more in some foothills and mountains before the storm moves on about 7 or 8 p.m.
Daytime coastal temperatures will be in the 60s, about 5 degrees below normal for this time of year, but it won’t be cold enough in the mountains for any significant snowfall at most Southern California ski resorts, the weather service said.
No rain is expected again until Monday, when the third storm system moves onshore.
“Right now, it’s too early to tell how strong that one is and how fast it will move through,” Gorman said.
He said high-altitude, jet stream winds are funneling the Pacific storm track directly into California, so the potential for rain next week remains high.
Rainfall this autumn has been about half of normal. The downtown total for the season, which runs from July 1 through June 30, is 1.24 inches, compared with a normal of 2.68 inches by Nov. 28.
However, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting a mild El Nino condition this winter.
During most El Nino winters, Pacific jet stream winds are intensified and extended all the way across the the ocean to California and Baja California. Large low-pressure centers over the central Pacific spin off an unusual number of storms, and the amplified jet stream tends to funnel more precipitation than usual into Southern California.
That’s what happened in the fall, winter and spring of 1997-98, when 31 inches of rain fell on downtown Los Angeles, more than twice the normal amount and the third-highest total on record.
But that was one of the strongest El Ninos ever measured, and forecasters say the one expected this winter probably won’t be as strong.