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Here we go again: Southern California set for 2 rainstorms over weekend, into next week

After a brief reprieve from the recent deluge, two rainstorm systems will be hitting Southern California starting Saturday, Jan. 14, and continuing into early next week, forecasters said.

In Los Angeles County, the first storm is expected to arrive Saturday afternoon — possibly around 4 p.m. — and continue into the evening, according to NWS meteorologist Lisa Philips.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass declared a local state of emergency Friday after the recent damage and additional rain in the forecast.

In contrast to storms that saw Gov. Newsom and President Biden declare states of emergency for California, the storm hitting Los Angeles county is a “typical, garden-variety low-pressure system” that is less rare and intense, Philips said.

The storm will take a quick pause, start up again Sunday afternoon, and finish in the evening, Philips said. Once Monday rolls around, the second system will move in and possibly bring thunderstorms —  Philips estimated about a 10% chance for Monday.

Across the LA metro area, coasts, and the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys, Philips said she expected the total rainfall to be pretty uniform: around 1/2 to 1 inch of rain during the first system and 1/4 to 1 inch on Monday through Tuesday.  A wind advisory will be in effect from noon to midnight Saturday inthe Antelope Valley, with forecasters anticipating winds of 20 to 30 mph, and gusts up to 50 mph.

A winter weather advisory will be in effect from noon Saturday until 3 a.m. Tuesday for the Los Angeles County Mountains. Forecasters said as much as 3 inches of snow could fall below 7,000 feet, with 5 to 10 inches possible at higher elevations Saturday night. For Sunday night through Monday, snow could accumulate 5 to 10 inches above 5,500 feet, and 3 to 6 inches at higher points.

On the coast, Philips said another swell is coming in tandem with the storms, bringing with it 6-12 foot waves over the weekend and early next week. Tides will also rise to about 6 feet, so there’s also the risk of coastal flooding starting Tuesday, Philips said.

“Significant” surf is also expected along Orange County’s beaches. In Huntington Beach, waves are particularly high and could max at 12 ft, he said. Overall, 2 to 12-foot and 4 to 6-foot waves are likely for the weekend and early next week, respectively, meteorologist Philip Gonsalves said.

Orange County and the Inland Empire’s weekend rain will begin slightly earlier, according to Gonsalves, who said the rain will likely make its way in starting tonight and hang around until at least Saturday morning, tapering off in the afternoon.

Sunday will bring a break, he said, and Monday will start the showers back up again until Tuesday morning. In Orange County’s foothills and spots like Rancho Santa Margarita and Portola Hills about 1.5 inches of rain is expected. The coastal areas will hover at slightly below an inch, Gonsalves said.

In the Inland Empire, communities including Corona, Lake Elsinore, and Riverside can expect less than an inch of rain throughout both systems, he said.

Northern parts of the Inland Empire including Ontario, Fontana, San Bernardino, are expected to see more rainfall in both storms; around 1 inch in the first round and slightly less during the Monday-Tuesday event.

As elevations increase, so do rainfall totals: with 3 inches forecast in San Bernardino mountain communities, he said. There, people can also expect strong gusts, particularly near San Jacinto, where speeds can get up to 55-65 mph, Gonsalves said.

“We are looking at two systems in quick successions. You have to consider them together when you’re thinking of the impact,” Gonsalves said. “We are looking (at) upwards of four inches total of rain — that’s not insignificant — but I don’t think it will compare between this and the last event.”

Still, a flood watch will be in effect in Orange County coastal and inland areas Saturday evening through late Saturday night.

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