Thunderstorms and heavy downpours possible as rain hits Southern California
LOS ANGELES — A weather system out of the Pacific will generate widespread rainfall in the Southland Thursday, and there’s a slight chance of thunderstorms accompanied by brief but intense downpours and small hail, National Weather Service forecasters said.
The storm could produce roadway flooding, flooding near small streams, downed tree limbs and power lines, a rough morning commute and hazardous conditions at sea, they said. But it will trigger no major flooding, mud slides or debris flows, said NWS meteorologist Curt Kaplan from the National Weather Service monitoring station in Oxnard in Ventura County, and no wind advisories are anticipated.
Between a quarter-inch and three-quarters of an inch of rain is expected, but between 1 inch and 2 1/2 inches is possible in the mountains and foothills, according to the NWS. Light snow accumulation is forecast above 6,000 feet in the San Gabriel Mountains late Thursday, forecasters said.
Brief, heavy downpours and small hail are possible in the event of thunderstorms, the chance of which is slight, according to the NWS.
In Los Angeles, southeast winds of 15-25 miles per hour are expected this morning, shifting to the southwest in the afternoon amid temperatures in the upper 60s, according to the statement. Gusts of 30-40 mph are possible this evening. South winds of 15-25 mph with gusts of up to 35 mph are expected in the Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area.
In the San Gabriel Mountains, rain with a slight chance of thunderstorms is expected Thursday morning, then rain and snow are likely in the afternoon. The snow level will be at between 6,000 and 6,500 feet, and around 1 inch of accumulation is forecast. Also forecast in the San Gabriels are southwest winds of between 20-30 mph with gusts of 45 mph, possibly reaching 50 mph.
Rain Thursday morning followed by partly cloudy skies and a chance of afternoon showers are forecast in Orange County, along with southeast winds of 15 to 20 mph with gusts of up to 30 mph, increasing to 35 mph this afternoon.
More rain is possible Saturday and Sunday, but Thursday’s system will be more powerful, Kaplan said.
He said the kind of system striking the region Thursday is more like a March storm than one in May. “It’s acting like a winter storm,” he said, citing the system’s cold front, gusty winds, plus the jet stream dipping further south than usual, possibly as a result of this year’s weak El Nino conditions.
The NWS forecast showers in L.A. County Thursday and highs of 50 degrees on Mount Wilson; 64 in Avalon, Santa Clarita and Lancaster; 65 in Palmdale and Torrance; 66 at LAX; 67 in Downtown L.A., Pasadena, San Gabriel, West Covina, North Hollywood and Burbank; 68 in San Pedro, Northridge, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys and Whittier; and 69 in Woodland Hills and Long Beach.
Showers are also forecast on Orange County Thursday, along with highs of 47 on Santiago Peak; 55 on Ortega Highway at 2,600 feet; 62 at Fremont and Trabuco canyons and in San Clement; 63 in Laguna Beach; 64 in Newport Beach; 65 in Mission Viejo; 66 in Yorba Linda; 68 in Anaheim, Santa Ana and Irvine; and 69 in Fullerton.
Temperatures will remain roughly the same in L.A and Orange County through at least Wednesday mostly amid sunny skies, except Sunday, when more rain is in the forecast.