A cold storm set to arrive Sunday night is expected to bring up to 1.5 inches of rain to Los Angeles and several inches of snow to the mountains.
The storm coincides with astronomical high tides that could cause some coastal flooding in low-lying areas such as Seal Beach. A coastal flooding advisory remains in place through 11 a.m. Monday. The storm is also expected to pump up the surf, prompting the NWS to issue a high surf advisory through 4 p.m. Sunday.
Though Sunday is forecast to start out clear and sunny, dark clouds and strong winds are expected by sundown, and rain is predicted late Sunday night, according to the National Weather Service.
Highs across the metro area are forecast to top out in the 50s Sunday and for the next several days.
Traces of rain -- and a dusting of snow in the mountains -- fell across the region Saturday as cold air associated with the storm front pushed into the area. Overnight lows in parts of the San Fernando Valley were expected to dip into the 30s.
The Southland, which has had far less than its typical 15 inches of precipitation for the past two years, could use the rain. Only about 1.8 inches has fallen since July 1.
Precipitation totals through Monday are expected to range from about .75 inches to 1.5 inches in the coastal and valley area and up to twice that much in the foothills and mountains.
That prompted the NWS to issue a flood watch for burn areas, where wildfire-denuded hillsides could be in danger of sliding.
The wet weather, accompanied by gusty winds out of the southwest and west, is expected to last through Tuesday afternoon.
Temperatures will remain about 15 degrees below normal through the period.
Winds in the coastal area, initially out of the northwest at 15-20 mph on Sunday, will back to the west and eventually the south and southwest as the front approaches this evening, according to the NWS.
High winds, with gusts up to 70 mph possible, could affect driving along the Grapevine section of Interstate 5 and in parts of the high desert.
In the mountains at elevations of 7,000 feet or more, snow is expected as temperatures start to drop Sunday evening. Three or four inches of snow is possible in the higher elevations.
By Monday morning, the snow level could drop as low as 3,500 feet.
Homeowners and residents were encouraged Sunday to prepare their properties for the coming rainstorms by picking up free sandbags, in limited quantities, at all Los Angeles City Fire stations.
Sandbags, when filled and deployed properly, will redirect storm and debris flows away from property improvements, said Los Angeles city fire spokesperson Ron Myers. While the city provides homeowners with sandbags and sand to protect their property, the city does not fill, load or place sandbags for individual homeowners.
The Los Angeles Fire Department, in conjunction with the Bureau of Street Services, will coordinating the distribution of sandbags and sand, Myers said.
Sandbags are available at the Los Angeles Police Department's Foothill, Mission and Devonshire stations. The fire department has also distributed sandbags at two recent fire areas, Browns Canyon and the Oakridge Mobile Home Park.
The city is advising people who need large numbers of sandbags and sand to buy them at home repair or hardware supply businesses.
Sandbags are basically for low-flow protection, Myers said, up to 2 feet. Protection from higher flows require a more permanent type of structure.
Sandbags will not seal out water, but redirect large flows of properly deployed. Myers warned that sandbags that are delpoyed too early may not be effective when needed.
Cleaning rain gutters and storm drains, removing debris from around structures, using tarps to prevent erosion, and placing sandbags to divert water run-off will help to prevent damage to structure and property, he said.