Los Angeles is in store for an unusually long soaking. A series of wet storms are forecasted to blow through the Southland through Thursday, and the National Weather Service predicts they could dump a total of 4 to 6 inches of rain on LA.
Officials are advising travelers to be prepared for road closures, as flooding and rockslides are a real possibility. The county’s public works director reminded Malibu residents to be aware of “the flood risk for their homes and communities and [to] prepare accordingly.”
The first of five storms landed overnight Friday into Saturday, and rainfall amounts are already impressive: 1 inch in Northridge, .95 inches in Pasadena, .82 inches in Santa Monica, .60 inches in Redondo Beach, and .52 inches in Downtown.
The next storm will roll into the area Sunday night through Monday night, and “has the potential to bring a longer duration of heavy rainfall,” the Weather Service reports.
Meteorologists have cautioned that the timing and strength of the later storms is still uncertain, but they now forecast that the wettest period will be Wednesday through Thursday.
The biggest danger for Malibu and other communities that were burned by the Woolsey Fire in November might come Monday to Tuesday, a time period that “look[s] potentially quite concerning” for burn areas, climate scientist Daniel Swain said on Twitter.
Flooding and mudslides are more likely after fires, when burnt debris collects on hillsides and prevents the soil from absorbing the rainfall.
Already, Pacific Coast Highway was closed overnight Friday from Las Posas Road in Ventura to Morning View Drive in Malibu as downpours sent debris gushing onto the highway, and the California Highway Patrol reported mud, dirt, and rocks had flowed onto Mulholland Highway at Seminole Drive in the Santa Monica Mountains.
Wet week ahead across CA! In NorCal, this is largely good news–will bolster streamflows & snowpack without causing too much trouble. But eyebrow-raising totals currently projected in SoCal could cause serious flood threat, esp. near recent burn areas Mon-Tue. Stay tuned. #CAwxpic.twitter.com/t99W8KChmy
— Daniel Swain (@Weather_West) January 11, 2019