Just when you thought it was safe to drive with the top down, a force so diabolical it has a child's name is preparing to wreak havoc in Southern California — again.
Yes, El Niño is back, but it might just be for a day.
Forecasters say a storm Sunday that could bring as much as three-quarters of an inch of rain to the Los Angeles Basin (Holy deluge!) will be fueled by moisture from an El Niño–driven jet stream to the southwest.
"El Niño hasn't gone anywhere," said National Weather Service meteorologist Emily Thornton. "We just have to get the storms tracking to our area."
Some television forecasters are calling for a juicy storm track to move in following Sunday's event, but the National Weather Service is taking a more conservative stance.
"Seems like after Monday we'll stay dry until midweek," Thornton said, "when another low moves in. Tuesday and Wednesday will be warmer and drier. A weak front will then move through a chance of rain."
High surf and cooler temperatures, meanwhile, will accompany Sunday's rain.
Six- to 10-foot waves were expected by the weekend, Thornton said. High temps are likely to reach only into the 60s in the basin, she said.
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At this point rain was expected to start moving in late Sunday morning and stick around at least through the afternoon, Thornton said. "It looks to be a pretty widespread event, with the possibility of some heavy rain," she said.
The snow level for local mountains was expected to be 6,000 feet. Even then, she said, only a few inches were forecast.
We need the rain. So far this month downtown Los Angeles (USC) has received 2.74 inches of rain, according to private forecaster AccuWeather. Normal is 3.12 inches. We can come out ahead if this storm produces.