Southern California Winter Storm: 12th Atmospheric River Arrives

Southland is bracing for the end of another storm on Tuesday, with meteorologists forecasting more rain, snowfall and strong winds to hit the region in what is expected to be the 12th atmospheric river to hit the Golden State since the start of winter. Monday marked the first day of spring.

This storm, like many of the latest arrivals since December, is expected to cause flooding, could lead to road closures and even incessant thunderstorms.

With flooding due early Tuesday morning, the National Weather Service has issued a series of warnings for many areas of the South, including:

  • flood watch for most of Los Angeles County Monday evening through Wednesday afternoon;
  • wind advisories for most of Los Angeles County 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Tuesday;
  • High wind warning for coastal and inland areas of Orange County from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Tuesday.
  • flood watch for coastal and inland areas of Orange County, which will last until Tuesday
  • winter storm warning in the San Gabriel Mountains along the Highway 14 corridor through Tuesday;

Winds up to 35 mph are expected in Orange County, which could lead to downed trees and power lines.

On top of that, given the already heavily saturated soil across Southern California, the NWS also warned of severe flooding along streams, rivers and in low-lying areas. Rainfall totals could exceed three inches along the coast and in the valleys, and twice as much in the highlands as forecast.

“From Tuesday to Tuesday evening, there is a small risk (15% to 40% chance) of heavy rainfall and flash flooding along and west of the mountains with little risk (5% to 15% chance) of flash flooding to our deserts.” NWS said. “Most of the snow is expected in the highlands.”

Parts of the San Gabriel Mountains above 6,000 feet can accumulate up to five feet of snow. These numbers decrease as the altitude increases, somewhere between the two and 10 inches predicted at 3500 feet. Some winds in the mountains can also increase to 75 mph during a severe storm.

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