More Rain and Snow Projected for Southern California

California Weather

On Thursday, the National Weather Service announced that Southern California will be inundated with rainstorms over the weekend. Snow is also expected to fall in high-altitude areas in the San Bernardino Mountains. Up to 12 inches of snow is expected by Saturday around Wrightwood, Big Bear and the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument. Around 6 inches of snow is slated to fall around Mount Laguna over Friday and Saturday.

Local ski resorts are taking advantage of the snowy weather to cater to skiing spring breakers anxious to hit the slopes. The popular Snow Valley Mountain Resort in Running Springs received 4 inches of snow from Friday night flurries, and resorts at Big Bear lake reported 5 inches of snowfall over the same period.

With the heavy rains, there is an increased risk of dangerous mudslides. After the intense wildfires in December, many areas of Southern California are denuded of vegetation and vulnerable to rain. A weakened hillside gave way on Thursday, blocking a 3.5-mile stretch of South Topanga Canyon Boulevard. The road will not reopen until Sunday night at the earliest.

Despite this new rash of storms, Southern California is experiencing a drier than average year. Downtown Los Angeles has received much lower levels of rain than normal this year. For January, rainfall was more than 5 inches less than the typical average level. In February, the city measured only 0.03 inches of rainfall, far below the normal seasonal level of 14.93 inches.

This latest rash of precipitation will likely be the last to fall on Southern California until May or June. Climate scientists say that the rains will not affect persistent drought conditions in the area. A widespread drought continues to plague Southern California, particularly in the water-hungry districts of Ventura County, Santa Barbara County and Los Angeles County.