La Niña – El Niño’s little sister – packing a bigger punch

A UPS truck hit a puddle on 13th Street near Railroad Avenue in Newhall as rain subsided Friday morning. Dan Watson / The Signal

El Niño didn’t get us last year, but it looks like its “little sister” La Niña will – at least for the first week of 2017.

Up to another five inches of rain could pour down on the Santa Clarita Valley this week.

While SCV residents managed to dodge rain threatened by last year’s tropical weather system called El Niño, few are likely to avoid rain sweeping into the region this week by its associated weather system called, La Niña.

Between one and five inches of rain, perhaps more, are expected to fall on the SCV over the next seven days, Carol Smith, meteorologist also with the National Weather Service told The Signal Monday.

“This week will be cloudy, cool and wet,” she said, with SCV remaining under a constant cloud cover for seven days.

A cold front sweeping down from the Gulf of Alaska is expected to collide with a “deep plume of moisture moving in from the Pacific on westerly jets,” she said.

The result will make the first week of the new year a cold – and wet one.

If you had to plan a picnic on any day this week, opt for Friday which was described by Smith as “kind of a break in the weather.”

One to two inches of rain is expected between Tuesday and Thursday, she said, but rainfall on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday Jan. 9 can be anywhere from three inches to “much more than that.”

“Between Saturday and Monday there will be heavy rain with some chance it (storm front) could expand north of us,” Smith said.

And we’re getting the light end of it.

Smith noted that the same weather system is expected to dump as much as 14 inches of rain on Monterey, and between 12 and 13 inches in Eureka.

“We have to stay tuned to see how it unfolds,” she said. “But, it looks like some fairly heavy rain at times with flash floods and debris flows – and not just for the heavy burn areas.

The threat of rain prompted the closure Thursday of Bouquet Canyon Road. The road was re-opened Monday at 9 a.m.

Public Works officials could not be reached Monday, during the national holiday, to say whether or not the road would be closed again in light of the most recent threat of rain.

Temperatures throughout the week are expected to remain in the high 50s with a forecast high of 63F forecast for Thursday and Friday.

La Niña, which usually follows El Nino and lasts about five months, is an atmospheric condition that cools the sea surface temperature across the equatorial Eastern Central Pacific Ocean by 3 to 5 degrees Celsius. It is not always associated with rain.

El Niño, on the other hand, is associated with a band of warm ocean water that develops along the same stretch of Pacific Ocean, often producing drenching rains in some years.


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