Wet Week Starts Off With Widespread Showers

California is set for another soaking as one of the state's wettest winters in years continues to bring a steady stream of storms

Another storm system brought rain to start the week and more precipitation is on the way.

Flash flooding and debris flows in recent burn areas and rock and mudslides in steep canyons are possible with this latest round of rain in what has been one of California's wettest winters in years. A flood advisory was in effect late Monday morning for Orange County.

"We're looking at showers through the afternoon," said NBC4 forecaster Crystal Egger. "Through Tuesday, we're going to see scattered showers."

As of midday, Camarillo received 1.04 inches of rain and Long Beach recorded 1.02 inches. Just less than one inch fell in downtown Los Angeles and Irvine.

Also expected are southwest winds, which, in combination with soil softened in recent rains, could down trees and power lines. Wind advisories were in effect for Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties late Monday morning.

In the San Gabriel Mountains, winds of between 20 and 35 miles per hour are in this morning's forecast, along with gusts of between 50 and 55 mph. A wind advisory will remain in force until 9 a.m.

Gusty winds will make mountain driving difficult, especially in high-profile vehicles, with major roadways affected likely to include Interstate 5 and state Routes 2, 14, 33 and 39.

In the Antelope Valley, where southwest winds of between 20 and 35 mph are expected, along with 55-mph gusts, a wind advisory will be in effect until 9 p.m. Major roadways that could be affected include the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway and Pearblossom (138) Highway.

The snow level, meanwhile, will remain high, with 1 to 3 inches likely to accumulate between 7,000 and 8,000 feet, according to the NWS. Accumulation of between 3 and 6 inches is possible above 8,000 feet.

Sections of the Sierra Nevada could see more than two feet of snow during three storms expected to batter the state through midweek. That's a good sign for the drought in California, which has been swamped during a wet winter that has brought no shortage of rain and snow after five straight dry years.

January's storms lifted the northern half of the state out of drought. This time last year, 95 percent of California was in drought, after the driest three-year stretch in the state's history. 

The California Drought Monitor report released Thursday showed improvement in the severe drought category. About 20 percent of California remains in severe drought, down from 26 percent last week and 61 percent three months ago.

The Sierra Nevada snowpack, a vital part of the state's water supply, is at 173 of average, with the most snow recorded since 1995, state water managers said. Thursday's manual survey at Phillips Station, which has been measured each winter since 1941, showed snow depth at 90.3 inches.

In January, back-to-back-to-back storms from the tropics that each dropped a hurricane's worth of water on the state have put the state at 108 percent of its normal rain and snow for the year, with two months still left in the rainy season, said Michael Dettinger, a hydrologist for the U.S. Geological Survey.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
Contact Us