Los Angeles is preparing for another cold storm system bringing rain and mountain snow to the area with the chance of lower-elevation snow in some areas.
The National Weather Service said the storm was expected to pull a plume of Pacific moisture into California as it tracked south, but the rainfall was not expected to be as intense as the atmospheric rivers that impacted the state in recent weeks.
Rainfall totals locally are generally expected to be 0.5 to 1.0 inch for most areas, with 1-2 inches for the mountains and foothills. However, five to ten inches of snow is likely above 6,000 feet. Snow levels will be above 6,000 feet initially, but will lower to 3,000 to 5,000 feet Wednesday and Thursday, with light snow accumulations possible on Tejon Pass / Grapevine, and other mountain passes.
There will be a slight chance of thunderstorms across northern sections of the area Wednesday afternoon, shifting southward across the area through Thursday morning. Any storms that develop will be capable of producing heavy rain and small hail. Winds will be southwest, gusting between 20 to 40 mph across the area.
The powerful weather system originated in the Gulf of Alaska and pushed into Northern California on Tuesday, bringing more wind, rain and snow to a state battered by months of storms.
Forecasters warned of heavy snow in the coastal mountains and the Sierra Nevada, where accumulations of up to 4 feet were possible. An avalanche warning was issued for the greater Lake Tahoe area.
After a dozen previous atmospheric rivers and blizzards fueled by arctic air, the water content of California’s Sierra Nevada snowpack is more than double normal overall, and nearly triple in the southern Sierra.
Across the state, damage since the onslaught began in late December includes buildings crushed by snow, flooding of communities and farm fields and homes threatened by landslides.
Crews on Monday tore down a historic pier in Santa Cruz County that was in danger of collapse. The 500-foot-long wooden pier at Seacliff State Beach was severely damaged by big surf in January. Built in 1930, the pier connected the beach to SS Palo Alto, a grounded Word War I-era steamship known as the “cement ship.”
On the positive side, the storms have brought much-needed water. The state’s two largest reservoirs, Shasta and Oroville, have risen above their historical averages to date after being significantly depleted.
In Southern California, the Metropolitan Water District is bringing water from the north to fill its massive Diamond Valley Lake, a reservoir that had diminished to 60% of capacity after three years of drought. It’s expected to be full again by year’s end.