Widespread rain and winds hit Southern California, with mountain snow on the way in places. The rain turned to snow overnight over the mountain passes and could produce near-24-hour-long white-outs in the mountains. The snow could accumulate as much as 2 feet, or 3 yards.
A snowstorm warning was issued from the Owens Valley to near the Pacific coast. That would mean storm systems of at least 2 inches or more could drop heavy snow on the mountains.
More than 60 inches of rain fell in the past 24 hours over Southern California — over double the average rainfall in that time, California State Climatologist Karen O’Keefe said Wednesday.
A flood watch was in effect for Orange, Santa Ana and San Diego counties through 4 p.m. Wednesday, the National Weather Service said. A flood watch means that there’s a chance of widespread heavy, destructive flooding in the area.
A weather system could bring snow to much of Southern California by Thursday, O’Keefe said.
The National Weather Service said the storm system has produced heavy rainfall and wind throughout Southern California.
A flood watch is issued when flooding is expected. A high risk flood watch indicates a flood is possible, but there isn’t enough information to state that it is a high or possibly flood risk.
The rain was due to an upper-level low that passed over the Central Valley, bringing heavy showers to the Santa Ana River Valley, the Los Angeles basin, and the San Gabriel Valley. The system brought heavy showers to the mountains.
The upper-atmospheric circulation is being buffeted by a cold front that was passing through the area Wednesday night. That could result in more snow and possibly some gusty winds Thursday, O’Keefe said.
The rains are a reminder that California’s climate is variable.
“It’s a reminder that climate change is not a linear trend,” she said on The Weather Channel Wednesday. “So what this means is that, as we go through the year and the climate changes, then the rainfall patterns in Los Angeles County will change. That’s why I always say Los Angeles may not get as wet as New York City. New York City may not get as wet as San Francisco.”
O’Keefe said the system started Wednesday in the San Francisco Bay Area with showers that persisted into Southern California and the