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Wettest Storm to hit Southern California in 3 years -Won’t Curb Drought

By   /   February 27, 2014  /   Comments Off

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SB Sun.com-The biggest winter storm in three years will clobber Southern California Friday morning with steady rain, violent thunderstorms, high winds, hail and up to three feet of snow in the mountains, and not let up until Sunday morning, weather experts predicted.

Climate scientists spoke of a storm of biblical proportions, one that may turn denuded hillsides left behind by recent wildfires into rivers of mud. They even spoke of the storm — pictured in satellite imagery as a massive cloud off the California coast Thursday — as coincidentally falling on the 76th anniversary of the great flood of 1938 that triggered the concreting of the Los Angeles River.

But with all that is expected in the next two and a half days, from flash floods to liquid hillsides to a toxic flush into Long Beach Harbor, no one was calling it drought relief or a change in the state’s stubbornly dry weather pattern.

“This is not a regime shift in the Jet Stream pattern. This is a rogue storm. A powerful rogue storm,” said Bill Patzert, climatologist at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge. “This is no drought buster.”

Moderate to heavy rain will begin falling just after midnight with intensive squalls that will bring rain at a rate of one-half to 1 inch per hour in places, depending on where the thunderstorms pop up, according to the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

AccuWeather.com predicted 4 to 6 inches of rain in the lower foothills of L.A. area mountain ranges, with 6 to 8 inches of rain in the lower mountains. Large rainfall amounts occurring in short time periods were predicted for neighborhoods near the burn areas in Azusa and Glendora in the east San Gabriel Valley, where the Colby Fire charred nearly 2,000 acres of hillsides.

The ominous forecast led to mandatory evacuations of 1,000 Glendora residents and about a dozen homes in Azusa along Ridge View Drive on Thursday as a precaution against deadly mudslides.

 

Some residents who evacuated their homes only a month ago when the Colby Fire whipsawed through the upper-middle-class community, destroying five homes and damaging 17 structures, were busy packing again Thursday.

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