The first in a series of storms will douse the Southland today ahead of a much stronger system, which will arrive Tuesday and threaten to unleash torrents of mud and debris over slopes denuded by wildfire, forecasters said.
In all, there will be three or four storms this week, it was not certain this morning exactly how many. They will make themselves felt today, Tuesday, Wednesday and, if a fourth storm materializes, on Friday or Saturday said National Weather Service meteorologist Curt Kaplan.
Kaplan said today’s storm should produce “nothing terrific” but on Tuesday, “we can anticipate debris flows and high surf” since each storm will be forming its own swell.
Between 2 and 3.5 inches of rain are predicted to fall across the coastal and valley areas through Friday, with between 3 and 5 inches falling in the mountains. That much rain in a short period could bring flooding and debris flows, and residents near the sites of previous wildfires were urged to monitor weather reports and consider preparing sand bags. The NWS warned that Tuesday’s storm could trigger flash flooding.
Coastal areas can expect high surf throughout much of next week and possible flooding, especially during the middle of the week when a large swell arrives, according to the NWS. Western-facing beaches will be particularly vulnerable to flooding on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“The overall pattern that is bringing us these storms is finally looking like what we would expect the El Nino pattern to look like that it so far hasn’t this summer,” said John Dumas, science and operations officer for the NWS. The NWS forecast showers today and temperatures in the 60s. Tuesday’s highs under rainy skies are expected to be 4-5 degrees lower than today.