Much-needed rain fell intermittently across Southern California on Tuesday but in lighter amounts than originally forecast for the region, which has experienced a very dry winter.
Mountain areas received up to around 2 inches of rain by midday but generally the precipitation was showery rather than steady, and the National Weather Service adjusted expected totals downward.
“Not quite the start we were expecting yesterday,” the Los Angeles-area weather office tweeted.
The rain was being caused by a low pressure system off the coast of Southern California and Baja California that was drawing a plume of subtropical moisture northward, meteorologists said.
But satellite imagery showed the atmospheric river was carrying most of the moisture into Baja California.
Showers were expected to increase late in the day and then linger for several days.
Despite lowered expectations, forecasters cautioned that potentially strong thunderstorms were a possibility through the day from Los Angeles County and up the Central Coast to San Luis Obispo.
North of the Los Angeles region, a flash flood watch was also in effect for the mountains and desert of Kern County, and a winter weather advisory was issued for a small portion of the southern Sierra Nevada.
A more significant storm appeared likely by early next week.