Springtime Storm Hits SoCal

As much as a foot of snow could fall at elevations above 6,000 feet


A storm from the Gulf of Alaska dropped rain across Southern California on Sunday, prompting flood advisories, triggering crashes and halting a NASCAR race in Fontana.

Heavy rains that moved across Los Angeles and Orange counties and prompted warnings from the National Weather Service of possible flooding were due to subside overnight, but not without leaving a a major impression.

Some quick-hitting thunderstorms at the end of the weekend Pacific storm threw a powerful punch, adding to a Southland rainfall total ranging from about a half-inch to around two inches.

Malibu and the Conejo and Santa Clarita valleys appeared to bear the brunt of the storm.

Rockslides were reported on Mulholland Highway above Malibu, and some ramps and freeway lanes were flooded along the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway near Canyon Country.

Snow was reported on Interstate 5 over the Grapevine at midafternoon, but CHP officers said it was not sticking and the key freeway link remained open -- but soaked. Several spinouts and minor crashes were reported along the freeway.

The National Weather Service issued an urban stream flooding advisory for the Conejo Valley, Malibu, and the front slopes of the San Gabriel Mountains at La Canada-Flintridge, Sunland-Tujunga and Lake View Terrace.

But county flood experts said they did not expect mudflows from the Station Fire burn area.

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Rainfall rates over Malibu were around one half inch per hour, the NWS office in Oxnard said. 

A stretch along the northbound San Diego (405) Freeway in Encino was the scene of a pair of unrelated crashes on wet pavement that involved at least nine vehicles, the California Highway Patrol said.

Rain, meanwhile, delayed the Auto Club 400 NASCAR race at 258 miles, as heavy showers moved into the Inland Empire.

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The rain was welcome for many Southland residents. The seasonal total dating from July 1 was 5.98 inches, about 45 percent of normal for this time of year, which is 13.29 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

Eight to 15 inches of snow fell in locations at altitudes of 6,000 feet or more and some snow fell at elevations as low as about 4,500 feet.

Monday should be dry and mostly sunny, with highs in the upper 60s.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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