The next powerful storm in the series is headed for the deserts tonight... with rain expected by morning. This storm has the potential to be the strongest of the bunch, with a variety of weather expected throughout S. Cal.
The latest satellite shows the system cranking up off the coast.
The first portion of the storm will hit Sunday, with higher snow levels near 7,000 feet. This will allow heavy rain to fall on top of recently fallen snow for elevations under about 7,000 feet, contributing to snowmelt and an elevated possibility of flash flooding. High winds are a possibility. This last storm sequence resulted in the Coachella Valley being shadowed by the strong winds that hit most other areas. However, it is possible that we will not be so lucky with this next system. Winds have the ability to gust over 60mph at times, with erratic direction and speeds likely.
Periods of moderate to heavy rain are likely Monday, with snow levels falling late Monday to as low as 2,500 - 3,000 feet. This will be accompanied by strong winds over 70mph in SOME AREAS. Not all areas are likely to experience these gusts, but they could be localized throughout the desert areas. With saturated ground, washes are likely to flow, continuing or extending road closures over nearby washes, and possibly additional roads in the area. High deserts have the opportunity to receives several inches of snow late Monday.
The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for Sunday and Monday, due to the possibility of localized flooding.
High winds warnings are also in effect for many nearby mountain and desert areas.
The take away is to just use caution traveling the next few days. The deserts will likely receive an additional 0.75 - 2 inches of rain, on top of the 0.75 - 2 inches received the past several days. Nearby mountain communities may see another 1-3 feet of snow, on top of the 1-2 feet that has already fallen the past several days.
Travel to the High Sierras continues to be discouraged Sunday and Monday, with the possibility of 4-6 feet of new snow dumping Mammoth, Tahoe and other 395 communities, crippling roads and communities under 4 day storm totals exceeding 8 feet in some areas.
We need the precipitation - but a welcome break is expected next Wednesday-Saturday, with long range forecasts showing dry weather possibly lasting through early February.
Use caution out there!