Nature's Fireworks

Showers and isolated thunderstorms are expected to continue Wednesday across Los Angeles County, with "wrap-around moisture" contributing to heavier rains in the Antelope Valley and foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, according to forecasters.

A cutoff upper level low pressure system west of Yuma, Arizona has helped generate numerous showers and scattered thunderstorms across the Southland through this morning, National Weather Service Meteorologist Curt Kaplan told City News Service.

"We think areas like the Antelope Valley and the foothills will get the most precip Wednesday," Kaplan said. "But thunderstorms will be possible anywhere in Los Angeles County, just like yesterday."

Some of the thunderstorms Wednesday could be strong and capable of producing brief heavy rain, gusty winds, small hail and frequent lightning, Kaplan said.

The position of the cutoff low pressure system east of the Southland will continue to be favorable for "importing moisture" from east to west into Los Angeles County, Kaplan said in a special weather statement issued at 3:15 a.m.

Long Beach set a record for Oct. 19 rainfall as .57 inches of precipitation fell at Long Beach Airport on Tuesday.

Breaks in cloud cover will allow heating that could increase atmospheric instability, Kaplan said.

Rainfall amounts Wednesday again will be variable -- but generally additional rainfall amounts of less than half an inch can be expected, with up to one inch of rain possible in some upslope areas adjacent to the Antelope Valley.

Snow levels in the mountains will generally be above ski resort elevations, Kaplan said.

Residents of foothill communities below the 250-square-mile Station Fire burn area and anyone living in or near other recent burn areas should remain vigilant, Kaplan said.

"If a thunderstorm were to move across a recent burn area, there would be the slight possibility of short duration rainfall intensities exceeding the USGS criteria for mud and debris flows," Kaplan said.

He added that fast-moving storm motion across the region means that chances of debris flows will remain low Wednesday.

"However, residents in the recent burn areas should continue to monitor the latest forecasts concerning this developing weather event," Kaplan said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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