Flood Watch Issued As Back-To-Back Storms Barrel Down On SoCal

LOS ANGELES, CA — The recent dry weather and unseasonably warm days are on their way out as Southern California braces for two storms that could bring heavy rain and the potential for flooding over the next week.

The National Weather Service issued a high surf advisory and wind and flood watches to take effect across Southern California early Thursday morning as forecast powerful downpours have the potential to create flash floods as well as coastal flooding. The storm is expected to move into the region late Wednesday night with the most powerful rainfall and heaviest mountain snow expected Thursday.

A notable cooldown will begin Wednesday as clouds roll in, with highs plummeting to the low 60s across much of Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties, according to the National Weather Service. Southwest Riverside County will see temperatures drop by 12 degrees as the storm moves in Thursday while the Pass area expected to experience a whopping 20-degree temperature drop.

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The first of the two storms will enter the region Wednesday night, with moderate to heavy rain expected to move into LA County and making its way south and inland overnight. The heaviest rain is expected during the morning rush hour across the Southland Thursday due to the atmospheric river-fueled storm, the NWS said.

“This one is pretty fast moving but packs some punch in the form of some strong southerly winds that will generate a large upslope rain enhancement along the south and southwest facing mountain slopes,” the NWS said.

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A high surf advisory will go into effect from 4 a.m. Thursday through 6 a.m. Saturday from San Diego to Los Angeles County. A wind warning will be in effect in Orange, San Diego, and Riverside counties from 4 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday. A flood watch will remain in effect from 6 a.m. Thursday to 10 a.m. Friday.

Snow showers are possible in some of the local mountains Thursday night when the snow level is expected to drop below 4,000 feet. The Grapevine could also see snow accumulation, the NWS said.

The heaviest snow is expected in the San Bernardino and Riverside county mountains Thursday, with 18-24 inches possible at 8,000 feet, the NWS said.

The following rainfall totals for Wednesday and Thursday are forecast:

Flooding could be a concern in San Diego, the NWS said.

“The current river forecast has the San Diego River at Fashion Valley rising high enough to flood the low-water crossings by early Thursday afternoon and rising above flood stage by early Thursday evening,” the NWS said.

Winds between 20 and 50 mph will be common across SoCal, with the strongest gusts in the mountains and deserts, the NWS said.

Drier weather is expected in most parts of LA County Friday and Saturday, though light showers are possible in parts of the Inland Empire, Orange County and San Diego on Friday and possibly into Saturday, the NWS said.

The second storm — likely to be much stronger — is set to arrive in the region Sunday, with periods of moderate to heavy rain expected through Tuesday, the NWS said.

Forecasters say this storm has a “large range of outcomes” and it’s too early to offer a detailed forecast. But one outcome could include 12 to 24 hours of steady rain and strong winds. The storm could bring a high risk of flooding and heavy mountain snow, the NWS said.

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