Forecast warns of wet winter ahead  

Snow covers the mountain peak near the Phillips Station meadow where the California Department of Water Resources conducted its second media snow survey of the 2024 season at Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada. The statewide snowpack is 52 percent of normal in the Sierras, with more snow expected in the next seven day forecast for the Sierras. The survey is held approximately 90 miles east of Sacramento off Highway 50 in El Dorado County. Photo taken January 30, 2024. Fred Greaves / California Department of Water Resources
Snow covers the mountain peak near the Phillips Station meadow where the California Department of Water Resources conducted its second media snow survey of the 2024 season at Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada. The statewide snowpack is 52 percent of normal in the Sierras, with more snow expected in the next seven day forecast for the Sierras. The survey is held approximately 90 miles east of Sacramento off Highway 50 in El Dorado County. Photo taken January 30, 2024. Fred Greaves / California Department of Water Resources
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Santa Clarita Valley residents might want to keep their raincoats, umbrellas and galoshes at the ready this week, according to the forecast. 

The rain could come as early as the wee hours of Thursday morning and linger off and on for about a week, according to Robbie Munroe, meteorologist for the National Weather Service.    

“It looks like we’re in for a long period of wet weather,” Munroe said Tuesday in a phone interview. 

There are two storms heading to the SCV, with the total amount of rain predicted at anywhere from 4 to 6 inches in the seven-day span.  

The second storm, which is expected to be much more significant at 3 to 5 inches of precipitation, could still bypass the SCV, Munroe added, but the probability of at least a moderate rain event has an 80% likelihood.  

That storm would likely fizzle out by Saturday morning, with the bulk of the 1 to 1.5 inches expected to fall between midnight and late Thursday morning. However, he cautioned, the “El Niño” weather system “makes these types of storms more likely and might supercharge them, especially if they’re coming from the west or southwest like we’re anticipating with these storms.” 

And it might be a good idea to check the road conditions if there are any plans for a drive through the Grapevine, too.  

“For those that utilize (Interstate 5) or the Grapevine, there’s a small potential for a dusting of snow on the Grapevine sometime late Thursday night through Saturday,” he added. 

By Sunday, a “bigger-hitting” storm is expected to move in, with the current prognostications putting the odds at 50% of “a significant storm with a significant risk of flooding,” he said. 

The odds of at least a moderate storm, he added, were closer to 80%. And above 6,000 feet, snow is likely during that same time, he said. 

The state’s Office of Emergency Services is holding a news conference Wednesday to discuss the forecast. 

“With a dangerous series of storms making landfall in California today and expected to impact much of California for the next 10 days, state officials will provide an overview of emergency response efforts,” according to an OES news release issued late Tuesday. 

After several years of La Niña, El Niño returned in spring 2023, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center.  

The natural climate phenomenon results from warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures (and higher sea levels) in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, according to NASA’s Earth Observatory website

In other precipitation-related news, the Department of Water Resources conducted its second snow survey of the season at Phillips Station on Tuesday. The survey recorded 29 inches of snow depth and a snow water equivalent of 10 inches, which is 58% of the average for this location. 

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