Southern California Braces for Heavy Rain as 2023 Continues Its Showery Start

After a New Year’s Eve storm, Southern California will continue its rainy start to 2023 with a storm beginning Thursday, Jan. 5, the National Weather Service said.

Related: Southern California storm map lets you track where the rain is now

After drizzling and light showers were seen Wednesday, NWS meteorologist Brian Adams said Orange County and the Inland Empire will see the heaviest rains starting from about 6 a.m. Thursday and continuing until around 4 p.m. that afternoon. A total of 1-2 inches of rain will be falling uniformly across the populated parts of Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, Adams said. Los Angeles County will see heavy rainfall in a similar window starting at 4 a.m., according to NWS meteorologist Carol Smith.

The storm comes as Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency across California and as the Bay Area braced for a potentially deadly storm that touched down Wednesday. Also Wednesday, evacuations were ordered for those living in the burn scar areas of three recent wildfires in Santa Barbara County, where heavy rain was expected overnight, and could cause widespread flooding and unleash debris flows in several areas.

Higher elevations in Orange County, such as communities in the mountain foothills like Portola Hills and Silverado, may have around 3 inches of total rain, Adams added.

Heavy rain is possible in Inland Empire mountain communities, with snow also expected in the San Bernardino County Mountains above 7,000 feet.

In the Los Angeles metro area, Smith said a total of 1-3 inches were expected. She forecasted that San Fernando Valley would see a total of about 2.5-4 inches of rain Thursday, with heavier showers in the valley’s foothill communities. Long Beach and the South Bay would likely see up to 2 inches of rain, Smith added.

Adams said the Dec. 31 storm has heavily saturated the ground, meaning Southern California’s terrain will likely be less equipped to absorb the incoming rainfall, Adams said.

“The area will be steadily accumulating a large amount of rainfall rather than it falling all at once,” Adams said.

Another NWS meteorologist, Dan Gregoria, said Orange County and the Inland Empire were both issued flood watches due to a risk of flash flooding during the “moderate impact” storm.

Geographically, all of Orange County was at “higher risk” for flash flooding, Gregoria explained. In the Inland Empire, Chino and Ontario were also at risk, he said.

“We do have some concern for (flash flooding),” Gregoria said, noting that drivers should exercise caution during the storm. “We advise to not drive through flooded roadways … it can be really life-threatening and dangerous.”

Los Angeles county could also face flash-flooding, NWS meteorologist Joe Sirard said, adding that burn scar areas were of “most concern.” Free sandbags were available for pick-up in locations across Los Angeles County.

Minimal to no vegetation in the burn scars add to the potential for mud and debris flows, Sirard explained. These flows can even be deadly.

Los Angeles County issued an evacuation warning for the Lake Hughes and King Canyon area, north of Santa Clarita, for this reason. The city of Duarte also put out an advisory for the Fish fire burn scar area, from a 2016 blaze, until Friday morning.

In the Inland Empire, at-risk burn scars include the Fairview fire burn scar that was left behind from a September blaze and the Apple-El Dorado burn scar.

Click here to read the full article in the OC Register

Rain, snow making a dent in California’s historic drought

As reported by the Sacramento Bee:

The rain and snow falling across Northern California in recent days is by no means extraordinary. In the Sacramento region, precipitation remains below normal for the season. But inch by inch, forecasters say, it’s doing the work necessary if California is to reverse years of epic drought.

Since Friday, a series of storms have dropped close to 2.5 inches of rain in Sacramento, helping replenish reservoirs drained to historic lows last summer. More importantly, the storms have added to the snowpack blanketing the Sierra, a stark contrast to last year, which dawned with the state’s driest January in more than 100 years.

The last few days have brought more than 2 feet of snow to the high Sierra, even as warmer-than-average temperatures are resulting in rainfall at lower elevations. …

Click here to read the full story

Tahoe Gets 6.4 billion Gallons of Water in 24 hrs.

As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle:

More than 6 billion gallons of water have poured into Lake Tahoe in less than two days, helping the lake begin to recover from four years of crushing drought.

Since midnight Monday, the lake has gone up 1.92 inches, the equivalent of 6.39 billion gallons of water.

The water comes as a winter storm slams the Sierra, bringing several feet of snow to higher elevations and rain at lake level, which sits at roughly 6,223 feet.

The lake — the second deepest in the United States behind Oregon’s Crater Lake – was hit hard this year by the drought. …

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Daryl Cagle,