First of Two Storms Brings Light Showers, Second System to Arrive Tuesday Evening

A storm that unleashed rain on parts of Northern California already soggy from big downpours headed south in the first of a one-two punch of much-needed moisture this week

The first of two storms moved into the Southland and brought light to moderate showers that could continue through Wednesday while again raising concerns of mudslides in recent burn areas already wet from last week's downpours.

The two weather systems will cause high surf and strong rip currents, according to National Weather Service forecasters, who said a high surf advisory will be in effect along the Los Angeles County Coast from 3 p.m. Tuesday until 3 p.m. Wednesday.

The first and weaker storm spread rain across the Central Coast  It's expected to generate south winds with gusts of up to 40 mph in the mountains and gusts of up to 35 in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties, according to the NWS. Snow levels, meanwhile, will remain near or above 6,000 feet.

A second, "somewhat stronger'' storm will arrive Tuesday into Tuesday night and persist through Wednesday, according to the NWS. It is expected to produce between a half-inch and an inch of rain in coastal and valley areas, and between one and two inches in the mountains and foothills, the statement said.

"There will also be lower snow levels, and isolated thunderstorms over much of the land area,'' it said.

The snow level will fall to around 5,000 feet by Tuesday night, though snowfall at even lower levels is possible, according to the NWS, and showers are expected to continue through Wednesday afternoon. The snowfall and high winds could lead to closures along the Grapevine section of the 5 Freeway north of Los Angeles.

The second storm may produce heavy rainfall in some areas and isolated thunderstorms, according to the NWS. It will lower the snow level to around 5,500 feet by early Wednesday.

In Glendora, where mandatory evacuations were temporarily imposed last week for residents near the Colby Fire burn area, city officials were again bracing for the possibility of debris flows. The city issued a yellow alert, imposing parking restrictions and directing residents to remove vehicles and other obstacles from streets.

No new evacuations have been ordered.

The NWS forecast highs today of 52 on Mount Wilson; 55 in Lancaster; 56 in Palmdale; 59 in Saugus; 62 in San Gabriel; 63 in San Clemente, Pasadena, Woodland Hills and Mission Viejo; 64 in Burbank, Anaheim, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Yorba Linda; 65 at LAX and in Irvine and Avalon and Fullerton; and 66 in downtown LA and Long Beach.

As for impact on the state's three-year dry spell, the storms will help, but much more rain is needed to pull the state out of its severe drought. The Sierra Nevada was expected to receive a few inches of snow at elevations above about 5,000 feet, a height that includes most ski resorts, said Eric Kurth, a meteorologist in the weather service's Sacramento office.

Sprintime runoff from the Sierra Nevadas provides water for millions of Californians, making the region's snowpack  a critical part of the state's water supply.

Downtown Los Angeles has received 3.91 inches of rain since July 1. Normal rainfall for that period is 2.90 inches.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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