Storm pounding SoCal with rain, continuing Wednesday

Photo credit Getty Images

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A powerful storm brought record rainfall to parts of Los Angeles, and will continue to drench the area Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.

The rainfall broke records in Burbank, LAX, downtown Los Angeles, Long Beach and Lancaster.

In downtown Los Angeles, 1.43 inches of rain was reported breaking the previous record for the day of 1.34 inches for the day set in 1893.

At Hollywood Burbank Airport, 1.14 inches of rain was reported Tuesday, breaking the record of 1.13 inches for the day set in 1992.

At LAX, 1.01 inches of rain was reported, breaking the record of 0.73 inches for the day set in 1958.

At Long Beach Airport, 1.53 inches of rain was reported, breaking the record of 0.82 inches for the day set in 1983.

At Lancaster Fox Field, 0.67 inches of rain was reported, breaking the record of 0.62 inches for the day set in 1995.

Topanga Canyon Boulevard will be closed from noon to 6 p.m. to remove a boulder that is threatening to fall on the road. It will be closed from Pacific Coast Highway to Grand View Drive, according to Caltrans.

More rain and mountain snow are expected to continue throughout Wednesday, raising the risk of localized flooding.

A winter storm warning was in effect until 11 p.m. Wednesday in the San Gabriel Mountains and in the 5 and 14 Freeway corridors. Forecasters predicted total accumulations of 2 to 5 feet of snow above 6,000 feet during the storm, with 10 to 20 inches possible between 5,000 and 6,000 feet, and 2 to 10 inches between 3,500 and 5,000 feet -- accompanied by winds gusting to 75 mph. According to the National Weather Service, several inches of snow could fall in the Grapevine section of the Golden State (5) Freeway.

Palm trees stand in front of the snow-covered San Gabriel Mountains following a powerful winter storm on February 26, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.
Palm trees stand in front of the snow-covered San Gabriel Mountains following a powerful winter storm on February 26, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. Photo credit Mario Tama/Getty Images

"Snow is starting to stick on I-5 in the Lebec area. CHP started running escorts," Caltrans tweeted at 5:43 p.m. Tuesday. "Maintenance crews have been on duty 24/7 since last night & are plowing to maintain public safety."

Caltrans later said the escorts stopped at about 7:30 p.m. but the freeway was still wet, and motorists were urged to drive carefully and reduce speeds.

Shortly after 8 p.m. Tuesday, the NWS issued a brief tornado warning for southwestern Los Angeles County and central Ventura County. At 8:17 p.m., "a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located over Point Mugu State Park, or 10 miles south of Camarillo, moving northeast at 35 mph," according to the agency.

The warning expired at about 8:30 p.m. Forecasters said the storm that prompted the warning had weakened below severe limits, and no longer appeared capable of producing a tornado.

Rain soaked most of the Southland Tuesday morning, but the skies cleared by early afternoon, even bathing the region in sunshine for a few hours. But by late afternoon, another wave of the storm moved in, darkening skies just in time for the afternoon rush hour.

"Showers (will) continue into Wednesday as the upper low moves just north of the area," according to the NWS. "Showers will become more scattered but still briefly heavy at times. Air mass isn't quite as unstable but can't rule out a thunderstorm or two in L.A. County in the morning hours. Snow levels expected to remain around the 4,000 (foot) level."

Up to 3 inches of rain could fall in coastal and valley areas by the time the storm subsides Wednesday, with foothill and mountain areas seeing 3 to 6 inches, according to the NWS.

Maximum temperatures will fall into the 50s on Wednesday, about 10 to 15 degrees below normal.

The rain is expected to persist in the region through Wednesday, with some showers potentially even lingering into Thursday, but otherwise, the region should be cool and dry through the weekend.

A flood watch will also be in effect for Orange County coastal and inland areas through Wednesday evening -- with rivers, creeks, streams and other low-lying and flood-prone locations susceptible.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images