The first rain of the season arrives in L.A. But don’t get too excited — it’s just a drizzle

Pedestrians cross First Street in Boyle Heights as clouds partially obscure the downtown L.A. skyline on March 6. The first rain of fall made for a drizzly morning Sept. 26 in Los Angeles.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Dust off your windshield wipers, L.A. The first rain of the season dripped from the skies Thursday morning, sprinkling morning commuters.

Extreme fire warnings across California have officially expired, thanks to a slight chance of light rain through Saturday, with low clouds and much cooler temperatures than in the last few days, said Tom Fisher, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

But don’t pull out your rain boots just yet. At most, there will be only a light drizzle, Fisher said. In the eastern parts of Los Angeles County, there is a slight chance for stronger showers associated with a separate weather system in Arizona.


“We’re keeping an eye on it,” he said.

The heaviest rain — which is still not expected to amount to much — will likely come Saturday, with a 20% chance of light rain in several L.A. areas, including downtown, Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley. Any chance for precipitation essentially disappears after that, and the beginning of next week will probably warm up again, Fisher said.

A low-pressure system is lingering off the coast of California, while another system is heading in from the north, creating an onshore flow, meteorologists said. The onshore flow is lifting the deep marine layer sitting over coastal areas, which is causing the rainy weather.

Compared to the heat and low humidity earlier this week, which prompted areas across the state to issue critical fire warnings, the weekend will see temperatures 15 degrees below average.

Inland areas will experience an even more drastic change. Woodland Hills, for example, recorded temperatures in the high 90s earlier in the week but will drop to about 74 degrees over the weekend, Fisher said. In Pasadena, temperatures will dip from the mid-80s to the low 70s.

A similar weather pattern is unfolding across the state. In Northern California, temperatures are cooling 10 to 15 degrees compared to Wednesday across the Delta and Sacramento region. Showers are expected Saturday into early next week, especially over the mountain areas, the National Weather Service said.

There’s even a chance for another early snowfall in the Sierra, like the one last week at Mammoth Mountain.

The coastal North Bay, San Mateo coast and north Central Coast are likely to get light rain Thursday night and Friday morning, the weather service said.

Pacific Gas & Electric Company, which turned power off proactively to more than 48,000 customers Wednesday, has mostly restored electricity. Crews are still working to restore power to a few thousand customers in Butte County, but the immediate fire danger has passed.