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Parade of storms begins to drench SCV

Strongest storm system expected Wednesday afternoon into Thursday

Posted: January 17, 2010 10:06 p.m.
Updated: January 18, 2010 4:55 a.m.
Sunny skies greeted Santa Clarita Valley residents Sunday morning and left many skeptical about the onslaught of storms forecast for the week.

But by Sunday afternoon the skeptics became converts as the first of what promises to be a parade of storms began to drench the valley.

National Weather Service forecasters said Sunday was just a foretaste. By Sunday evening they had issued a hazardous weather outlook and flash flood watch for most of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, including the Santa Clarita Valley, along with a gale-force wind warning for some mountains and the coast.

Residents of areas that were blackened by the Station Fire - including Acton - were urged to beware of potential flash floods and mudslides.

Sunday was just day one of the storm warning, which was issued for the entire week - through Saturday.

Heavy snow and damaging winds were forecast through tonight, particularly in the Antelope Valley and mountain areas.

Thunderstorms are possible this afternoon and this evening, and they could drop up to an inch of rainfall an hour.

Snow levels are expected to be between 6,500 and 7,000 feet by tonight, with four inches to 12 inches of snow expected to fall.

A weaker storm is expected to roll into the area Tuesday, with "the third and most likely strongest storm system ... expected Wednesday afternoon into Thursday," said the Hazardous Weather Outlook.

That storm is expected to drop the snow level to 4,000 to 6,000 feet Wednesday through Friday, with heavy snowfall likely, the outlook said.

"Rainfall rates between one-half inch and three-quarters of an inch per hour can be expected during the peak of the storm," the outlook said. "Over one inch per hour will be possible near thunderstorms."

Urban and small-stream flooding, along with rockslides, were expected at lower elevations as soil becomes saturated from the parade of storms.

River flooding was possible for Wednesday and Thursday.

Forecasters advised mountain residents to stay home. If they must travel, they were urged to carry an extra flashlight, food and water in their vehicles in case of an emergency.


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