Storm to bring more rain and snow but less chaos to Southern California

Another storm system carrying rain and snow will likely descend on Southern California from the north late Tuesday, Feb. 28, and flow into Wednesday afternoon — but it wasn’t expected to bring as much chaos as last week’s, weather forecasters said.

Scattered showers were expected to begin Tuesday afternoon, with more widespread rainfall likely overnight and into Wednesday morning — affecting morning commutes, meteorologists with the National Weather Service said.

In all, most populated areas across Southern California were anticipated to receive a quarter- to half-inch of rain, with some areas on the western edge of the Inland Empire possibly getting up to three-quarters of an inch, Meteorologist Dan Gregoria said.

“It shouldn’t be nearly to the degree of what we had last week,” Meteorologist Ryan Kittell said. “The winds will be weaker. You might have a tree or two that comes down, but most of the vulnerable trees already came down last week.”

The storm adds on to what has already been an above-average year for Southern California rainfall.

As of Tuesday, downtown Los Angeles had received 18.77 inches of rainfall since Oct. 1, which meteorologists mark as the beginning of rain season. On average, downtown Los Angeles gets 10.65 inches of rainfall through the end of February, Kittell said.

John Wayne Airport had received 11.67 inches of rain, up from its average of 8.52, Gregoria said. In Ontario, the 14.64 inches was exactly 6 inches above normal for this time of year.

Tuesday and Wednesday’s rain was not anticipated to bring flood watches, advisories or warnings — though Orange County and the Inland Empire will have a wind advisory from midnight Wednesday through the afternoon, Gregoria said.

More snow was expected in the mountains and possibly again in foothill communities like La Crescenta, Kittell said. Snow levels could reach as low as 1,500 feet Wednesday morning and areas in the San Bernardino Mountains were projected to receive one to two feet.

“The biggest issue with the snow levels is the roads,” Kittell said. “The (5 Freeway) and 14 Freeway — those areas could see significant snow accumulations that will likely cause delays, if not hours of closures.”

And with all the snow, an increased risk of avalanches is present, especially higher in the mountains, Kittell said. One had occurred on Monday in the San Jacinto Mountains.

Earlier today an avalanche was observed on the north face of San Jacinto from the 10 freeway.

Joyce Schwartz – Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit

Schwartz said her and a friend were driving west on Interstate 10, making there way to Palm Springs when..

— Coachella Valley (@AnInsidersGuide) February 28, 2023

“The snow — the depth of it and the powdery nature of it is increasing the risk for (an avalanche),” he said.

The storm system was expected to clear out by Wednesday afternoon.

Temperatures then will stay cool, with forecasted highs in the mid-60s on Friday and Saturday in some stretches, with Southern California staying dry and mostly sunny from Thursday through early Sunday.

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