The wet weather has returned to Los Angeles. Up to three inches of rain are expected to fall on county streets, canyons and beaches on Sunday. The storm could also bring on bracing wind gusts, beach erosion, monster waves and mudslides.
The rain will alternate between light showers and the outright downpour. National Weather Service Meteorologist Emily Thornton says in some parts of the county, residents could see a half inch of rain per hour.
"We'll have some isolated thunder showers go along with the widespread heavy rain. Anywhere that receives these isolated thunderstorms could see high rainfall rates," Thornton told KPCC.
The storm is a reminder that Angelenos shouldn't get complacent, says Leslie Luke, Deputy Director for the Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management.
"Historically, our peak times are February and March and when we had the two other largest El Niños on record, it was February and March also," Luke told KPCC.
Luke hopes residents have already cleared out their gutters and that trash bins aren't blocking drains.
Anyone living in the foothills should beware of mudslides and flows of debris. A flash flood warning is in effect until 6 p.m. Sunday for recent burn areas, including in the Colby Fire Impact Zone east of Glendora.
A National Weather Service winter storm watch is in effect for Los Angeles County mountains until 12 p.m. Monday. Residents who live at elevations of 7,000 feet or higher could get two feet of snow from the storm.
Meanwhile, there are high surf advisories in place up and down the coast through Tuesday morning. Waves topping 12 feet could bring on beach erosion.
"A number of our beaches will naturally rebuild over time. But then others have eroded over time so they've become more narrow," Carol Baker, of the Los Angeles Department of Beaches and Harbors, told KPCC. "It's very difficult at this point to see how far they'll bounce back."
The storm could also lead to slower-than-normal drives, especially at higher elevations. California Highway Patrol Sergeant Justin Olsen monitors the Grapevine section of the I-5 freeway and says gusty winds can bring down temperatures quickly and turn snow to ice.