Rain is beginning to move into Southern California on Wednesday as back-to-back storms dancing off the coastline are forecast to bring successive rounds of precipitation into the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.
Though heavy amounts are not expected, the rain across Los Angeles County could further exacerbate traffic issues as a portion of the 10 Freeway in downtown L.A. remains shut down after a fire last weekend.
“We have a first wave of showers that should be moving through today,” Ariel Cohen, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard, said Wednesday.
Most areas can expect up to half an inch of rain Wednesday, he said, noting that the storm meteorologists had been tracking since last week had “kind of fragmented into parts.”
A minor break in precipitation is expected Thursday before rainfall picks back up Friday and Saturday, forecasts show.
The second wave expected to make landfall Friday and linger through Saturday is likely to be a bit heavier, Cohen said. Though thunderstorms are a possibility Wednesday, Cohen said they will be more likely by Friday night.
The region “certainly could have some minor flooding in flood-prone areas Friday night into Saturday morning,” Cohen said.
The back-to-back storm systems will bring a “cooler and unsettled weather pattern” to Southern California through Saturday, with up to 3 inches of rain possible over the next few days “as a subtropical plume of moisture continues to spread north into the region,” according to the National Weather Service.
Chances of rain continue to increase for Wed afternoon into early Thu. Widespread showers are expected and may be heavy at times. Much of Thursday could be dry with only isolated light showers through the day. Another round of more widespread rain is expected Fri into Sat. #CAwx pic.twitter.com/h1A4gRd2RQ
— NWS San Diego (@NWSSanDiego) November 14, 2023
Precipitation is expected across the Golden State as a “very elongated area of low pressure” moves along the California coast, Brian Garcia, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Monterey, said in a Tuesday briefing. The storms will bring “multiple rounds of rain” to California by the week’s end, according to a weather service post on X.
In the Bay Area, precipitation is expected to pick up Wednesday afternoon and taper off until the next round comes in slightly stronger on Friday, said Roger Gass, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Monterey. Coastal areas in the region can expect 1 to 2 inches through Saturday, while the hills could see closer to 3 inches total.
Farther south in San Diego and Orange counties, forecasts show the system bringing showers Wednesday, with the possibility for heavier pockets of rain from thunderstorms. Rain totals will hover around 1 inch through the rest of the week, with some Southern California mountains getting slightly more.
The rainfall is expected to also make its way inland to the Central Valley, where forecasters are expecting rain and some snow beginning Wednesday night into Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. Rainfall in the valley region isn’t expected to top 1 inch, but some of the Sierra’s highest peaks could see over a foot of snowfall, with snow levels dropping to about 8,000 feet elevation.