Weak tornadoes along the Southern California coastal plains and waterspouts over the ocean could break out, and periods of very heavy rain are likely, as a major winter arrives Friday, the National Weather Service said today.
The big Friday-Saturday storm will be preceded on Wednesday by a much smaller cold front, which will bring heavy rain to the Californa Central Coast but much less rainfall to areas south of the Tehachapis.
In its preliminary forecast, the NWS forecast office said a convergence of two low pressure systems, plus a strong jet streams aloft, will bring the unusual events and heavy rain here at the end of the week.
Up to six inches of rain will be possible on some south-facing slopes of the San Gabriel Mountains and other coastal ranges, as southerly winds will slam rain clouds into the mountain slopes. Most foothill areas will get 2-4 inches of rain, and the basin floor and valleys should get 1-2 inches of rain Friday and Saturday, the NWS said.
Exact timings remain iffy, but forecasters said the first storm should arrive after midday Wednesday and move out Thursday morning. It will sprinkle snow down to the 6,000 foot elevation in local mountains.
“Rain totals will vary from around 1/2 inch in the north to less than 1/4 of an inch in most areas of the south,” the NWS said. “However, there could be locally higher amounts across the San Gabriel Mountains, but nothing to write home about.
“Snow levels will start out around 6,500 feet on Friday morning, then fall down to around 5,000 feet by Saturday,” the NWS said. “Some significant snowfall will be possible in the local mountains.”
--City News Service