Thousands Without Power After Overnight Rainstorm

The rain will clear out by mid-day before a bout of fire weather later this week

Thousands of Southern Californians are without power Monday morning after an overnight rainstorm that soaked roads and slowed the early commute. 

Outages were reported southeast of downtown Los Angeles and along the coast, including the Oxnard area. About 2,300 customers were without power in Artesia, and more than 1,200 customers were affected in Montebello.

About 1,000 customers were without power in Oxnard.

Some of the outages were weather related, according to utility officials.

The October storm also caused problems for drivers. There were 142 crashes reported on Los Angeles freeways during the rainy, four-hour period beginning at 2 a.m., nearly four times the number that were reported during a comparable period a week ago, when it did not rain, authorities said. 

The rest of the day is expected to be mostly cloudy, with the chance of rain set at 40 to 50 percent. At the same time, a wind advisory signifying an expectation of winds of at least 35 miles per hour will be in effect until 11 a.m. in the San Gabriel and Santa Monica Mountains and the Antelope Valley. 

The rain won't amount to much in terms of volume. Expect a cross between light rain and drizzle, producing less than a 10th of an inch. But even light rain can make roads dangerously slick, indicating a need to reduce speeds and avoid tailgating.

"Bring that umbrella, dress warmly and give yourself extra time," said NBC4 forecaster Shanna Mendiola.

A crash involving two big rigs closed lanes on the 110 Freeway near South Los Angeles overnight. The crash tied up traffic before lanes reopened around 4:30 a.m. 

Two drivers suffered minor injuries.

Also in force Monday in L.A. and Orange counties is a beach hazard statement -- a degree less serious than a high surf advisory -- scheduled to last through this afternoon, with surf of 4 to 6 feet battering the coast and sets of 7 feet expected.

More serious weather conditions are expected beginning Tuesday afternoon, when a fire weather watch, which is a notch less severe than a red flag warning, will take effect, lasting through Thursday evening. During that time, gusty Santa Ana winds will generate higher temperatures and bring considerable drying, with humidity levels dipping to single digits in much of the region.

The fire weather watch will cover much of L.A. County, including in the San Gabriel and the Santa Monica mountains, forest areas, the Santa Clarita and San Fernando valleys, and the L.A. coastal zones, which includes beach cities, metropolitan L.A. and the Hollywood Hills.

In the San Gabriels and the forests covering the mountain slopes -- L.A. County's Angeles National Forest and Ventura County's Los Padres National Forest -- north winds of between 20 and 30 mph are expected, along with 50 mph gusts, although gusts of more than 60 mph are expected at Whitaker Peak in Los Angeles County. At the same time, the humidity level will sink to between 3 and 15 percent. The wind will be a little weaker in non-mountain areas.

Also expected this week is another hot spell, with highs in some valley areas reaching the mid 90s Wednesday and around 100 on Thursday, prompting meteorologist Hoxie to predict that residents are in for "quite a shock" after several cooler days.

The NWS forecast showers in L.A. County today and highs of 67 on Mount Wilson; 70 at LAX; 71 in Palmdale and Lancaster; 72 in San Gabriel, Burbank and Saugus; 73 in downtown L.A.; 74 in Avalon, Long Beach and Pasadena; and 75 in Woodland Hills.

A sharp rise -- 9 degrees in some communities Tuesday -- is expected Tuesday and again Wednesday and Thursday before a slow cooling trend starts Friday. Highs in Woodland Hills, for instance, are expected to be 75 today, 87 Tuesday, 93 Wednesday, 100 Thursday, 98 Friday, 95 Saturday and 90 Sunday.

Partly cloudy skies were forecast in Orange County today, along with highs of 70 in San Clemente; 71 in Newport Beach; 72 in Laguna Beach and Mission Viejo; 74 in Anaheim and Irvine; and 75 in Yorba Linda and Fullerton.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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