Storm passes over Orange County, more rain expected over the weekend

A group of runners pace up the the bike path over a puddle near Goldenwest Street and Coast Highway.
A group of runners pace up the the bike path over a puddle near Goldenwest Street and Coast Highway during a break in the rain, but not the wind, in Huntington Beach on Tuesday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

The latest patch of storms to drench Southern California should run its course by Wednesday, allowing for a window of clear skies and warmer temperatures in the second half of the workweek before the chance of showers return Saturday.

Most of Orange County had received between 1 and 2 inches of rain as of 2 p.m. Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service. Monitoring equipment logged 0.86 inches of precipitation in Costa Mesa, 1.6 inches in Garden Grove and 2.28 inches at Carbon Canyon Dam. And more than 4 inches came down in portions of the Santa Ana Mountains.

Even heavier showers were forecast later Tuesday, along with winds gusting at speeds of around 35 miles per hour near the coast and falling temperatures. By Wednesday night, lows may dip to 48 degrees in Huntington and Newport Beach, 46 degrees in Laguna Beach and 45 degrees in Costa Mesa and Fountain Valley.
A flood watch remained in effect through Tuesday evening. Officials in Laguna Beach advised residents and businesses to raise floodgates and were distributing sandbags at the Act V and Aliso Beach East parking lots. More were available at the City Corporation Yard on Superior Avenue in Newport Beach, as well as the Edison Community Center, Warner Fire Station and Huntington Beach Corporate Yard in Huntington Beach.

Rising waters resulted in the closure of Pacific Coast Highway between Warner Avenue and Seapoint Street Tuesday morning, according to Caltrans. Northbound lanes were later reopened, but southbound traffic was still shut down as of 4 p.m.

Minor delays were reported along Silverado Canyon Road due to mud and rocks swept onto roadways by rain and large pools of water accumulating in low-lying areas, according to Orange County Public Works. Their crews were seen on social media using shovels and bulldozers there and along Modjeska Canyon to sweep away debris and build barriers to mitigate further soil erosion.

The storm should pass by Wednesday. Mostly clear skies over the following two days should allow highs to rise into the mid 60s.

A surfer rides a wave near Newport Pier as clouds move inland on Wednesday evening in Newport Beach.
A surfer rides a wave just south of Newport Pier as clouds move inland during a break in the rain on Wednesday evening in Newport Beach.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Early forecasts suggest rain may return to Orange County as soon as Saturday. However, the exact timing and intensity of the next round of precipitation was not immediately clear.

Powerful waves driven by the series of storms that has soaked Southern California recently ripped a support pylon off of Seal Beach Pier, but there were few other reports of major weather-related damage in the area. Portions of the Central Coast and Northern California were hit much harder. Extreme flooding on Monday resulted in the evacuation of all residents of Montecito and surrounding communities in Santa Barbara County.

Extreme weather this winter has brought much-needed rain to the chronically parched state and built the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada Mountains up to its highest recorded level in history, according to the NWS. However, nearly 98 percent of California remained in at least a moderate drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

A pylon on the Seal Beach Pier, seen Friday, was one of several washed away by Thursday night's high surf.
(Courtesy of Seal Beach Police Department)

Support our coverage by becoming a digital subscriber.