Rain expected in Southland throughout the week

More rain is expected to fall in the Southland today and throughout the week, as residents in burn areas brace for possible debris slides.

The light rain that fell on Sunday was merely a prelude to a series of storms that is expected to be the heaviest Southern California rains since 2005.

"The first in a series of powerful Pacific storms will affect Southern California today into tonight," according to a Weather Service statement.

"Rainfall coverage and intensities will increase this morning, then rain, heavy at times with scattered thunderstorms, will continue through this evening."

Rainfall rates of three-quarters to an inch of rain per hour are possible late this morning into this evening. Some areas could receive 1.25 inches per hour, including the Station Fire area.

Rainfall totals from today's storm are expected to be 1-3 inches across coastal and valley areas, 3-5 in the foothills and mountains, and 3-6 inches in the area of the Station Fire.

"Rainfall at these rates would likely be sufficient to cause flash flooding and debris flows in and downstream of the burn areas," according to the statement.

A flash flood watch – meaning that conditions may develop that lead to dangerous flash flooding – goes into effect in the burn areas at 10 a.m. and is to last through tonight.

Residents in or below the recent burns areas were urged to take steps to protect their property and follow the directions of emergency preparedness officials.

"Additional periods of heavy rain are possible later in the week as future storm systems move into the area, which may require additional flash flood watches to be issued," according to the Weather Service statement.

Another storm is expected Tuesday afternoon, with the heaviest downpours forecast for Wednesday and Thursday, and still more rain is possible through the end of the week.

Fire and flood control officials, and local residents, have set up sandbag and concrete barriers along a 20-mile line between Pasadena and Pacoima, and some residents have already evacuated.

Waterspouts off the coast are also possible tonight, and up to three feet of snow could fall above the 6,000 foot level in the mountains.

Offshore, gale-force winds and ocean swells nearing 25 feet are expected, which could cause severe hazards on west-facing beaches.

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