Get Ready: A 1-2 Punch of El Niño Storms Is Coming This Weekend
Two El Niño–fueled storms are expected to strike Los Angeles over the weekend.
The California Weather Blog calls it a "one-two punch" with "intense rain, gusty winds [and] thunderstorms possible."
Batten down the hatches.
The first storm will move in Saturday night, says the National Weather Service.
"The first storm will likely bring a short period of moderate to possibly heavy rain from Saturday night through Sunday morning," the service said in a statement.
The second front, Sunday night into Monday, will be colder, rainier and accompanied by the possibility of thunderstorms, federal forecasters said.
They're now saying the urban basin could see as much as 2 inches of rain throughout the life of both storms. Some areas, such as foothill communities and mountains, could see as much as 4 inches of precipitation, the NWS said.
"The colder air aloft Sunday night into Monday morning will increase the instability, bringing the threat of heavier downpours and even a slight chance of thunderstorms," the agency said of the second front.
Snow levels in local mountains could dip down as low as 4,000 feet starting Monday, federal forecasters said.
Warm weather and an offshore flow was expected to return Tuesday through Thursday, but come next weekend another storm was possible, they said.
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Is this the long-awaited rain from "Godzilla El Niño?" Possibly.
The El Niño weather phenomenon is defined by warm waters along the equatorial Pacific that can push the tropical jet stream into Southern California.
Although this has been one of the strongest El Niños ever recorded, the jet stream hasn't been cooperating. It has mostly missed us.
"A robust atmospheric river (arguably of the 'pineapple express' variety, given its subtropical origins near Hawaii) will be in place in advance of the front itself, providing plenty of moisture," the California Weather Blog says in its analysis of this weekend's action.
As for the long term, the jury's still out.
"It’s less clear whether Southern California will be able to make up the seasonal precipitation deficit that has accumulated this year despite the near record-strength El Niño event in the tropical Pacific," the blog says.
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