By Tammy Murga
Signal Staff Writer
As much of the nation braces for the effects of the polar vortex, Southern California has indulged in days full of sunshine. Not for long, however, as back-to-back rainstorms are in the forecast.
The Santa Clarita Valley can expect to wake up to showers today, the first of three winter storms to arrive in Southern California.
Starting late Wednesday night, about a quarter of an inch to an inch of rain was expected to hit the region, followed by a slight chance of thunderstorms and heavy downpours by this afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.
After a brief break from wet weather conditions early Friday, `the second storm is expected to arrive by nightfall and last through Saturday.
This Pacific storm system has the potential to drop 1 to 3 inches of rain, with southeast winds of up to 60 mph across Los Angeles County.
“As we get through the weekend, there will be concerns for shallow debris flows, mudslides and flash flooding,” said Lisa Phillips, meteorologist intern with the weather service.
“It’s supposed to be windy with this second storm, so we might have downed trees and travel delays.”
The third storm will have less heavy downpours but concerns over snow levels may result in snow on mountain passes such as the Interstate 5 corridor.
This is forecast to commence Sunday and last possibly into Tuesday.
This series of rainstorms follows the new year’s first major storm since the middle of January, which has brought much-needed hydration to the region. Still, parts of L.A. County remain under a moderate drought, said Phillips.
“Some locations were above normal and other places were still below,” she said. “It’s a mixed bag.”