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Heavy storm expected to hit Sunday

Meteorologists expect up to 8 inches of rain

Posted: January 15, 2010 10:16 p.m.
Updated: January 16, 2010 11:55 a.m.
 
Weather specialists expect one of Southern California's heaviest storms in years to pummel the Santa Clarita Valley this weekend, dumping several of inches of rain into next week, officials said.

The National Weather Service forecasts three El Nino-type storms to hit Southern California from Sunday night through Thursday, potentially posing problems for hilly areas charred in the Station Fire.

"Be extremely aware of your changing situations," said Jamie Meier, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service. "If you do live near a burn area, prepare as you would ... (Do) whatever you can to decrease your risk of mud and debris flows around your property."

The storms could bring 4 to 8 inches of rain in the coastal and valley areas, and 8 to 16 inches in the foothills and mountains, according to a statement released Friday afternoon by the weather service.

Fire officials are prepared to increase staffing and deploy swiftwater rescue teams to respond to flooding emergencies once the hazardous weather begins, said Los Angeles County Fire's Inspector Matt Levesque.

The series of storms has the marks of an El Nino pattern, Meier said.

"(It's) as strong as we've seen it in a few years," the meteorologist said.

The first storm system is expected to arrive Monday, with the heaviest rain levels in the Station Fire burn areas, the report said.

The second system is expected to arrive Tuesday. The third, and strongest system is expected to occur Wednesday into early Thursday.

Embedded thunder storms and strong southerly winds are a possibility throughout the week, and showers are likely in Santa Clarita on Friday.

Today, the National Weather Service forecasts Santa Clarita will be partly sunny with calm winds.

There is a 10-percent chance of showers after 4 a.m. Sunday and a 40-percent chance of showers after 10 a.m., according to the service's Web site.

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