Environment & Science

Winter storm expected to bring at least an inch of rain

File photo by Neil Kremer via Flickr Creative Commons

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Winter storms frustrated Thanksgiving travel plans along the East Coast. On the West Coast, storms are politely holding off until after the holiday.

Forecasters say light rain is expected to begin sometime on Sunday, followed by a heavier storm coming through the state.

“I’d call it a typical winter storm for Southern California. We could see maybe over an inch where most of us live down at the coast and valley areas,” said Eric Boldt, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “You’re probably going to double that, maybe two or three inches as you go up the mountains.”

Boldt said it’s too early to know for sure how strong the storm would be, but the rainfall totals are not expected to bring an end to the fire season.

“Steady, soaking rains up to five inch totals is what we would really need to declare an end to the fire season,” Boldt said. “We still need to keep our game on as far as potential for fires.”

Boldt said that the quenching effects of the rainfall would be somewhat mitigated by a dry spell that is expected to follow the squall.

County officials said they are monitoring the developing storm system in case expectations of rainfall increase to emergency proportions.

Kerjon Lee, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, said that most of the preparation for mudslides was completed in October, during the dry season.

Rick Flores, an inspector for the Los Angeles County Fire Department, said that sandbags are already at firestations and that sand is on hand at centralized locations.

As for whether emergency services will actually be needed, Flores said it’s too early to tell.

“We haven’t planned that far out. We’re still planning for basically today and tomorrow,” Flores said.