A Pineapple Express train of tropical moisture is expected to roll through Los Angeles today, bringing a half-inch of rain or more to the basin, forecasters say. The flow of precipitation is named for its origins in the tropical Pacific.
National Weather Service meteorologist Robbie Munroe says a storm will move down the West Coast and draw that wet stuff from warmer climes south of Hawaii.
The California Weather Blog calls the system "an intense atmospheric river." "It's a long stream of moisture in the atmosphere," Munroe says. "There's a potential for moderate to heavy rainfall."
High surf sometimes associated with such systems won't entirely materialize. Munroe is calling it three to six feet. Mountain board riders might not find fresh powder, either. Because of its tropical influence, this will be a relatively warm storm, with snow levels pegged at a high 8,000 feet or more, he said.
In fact, much of the action will happen to the north. "Southern California will largely escape any flood concerns," according to the California Weather Blog.
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By Sunday we could be basking in springlike temperatures, Munroe says. Offshore winds will settle in over the weekend, and Greater Los Angeles could see high temperatures in the upper 60s Sunday and in the low 70s Monday.
That doesn't necessarily mean the rainy season is over. Another front could move in Thursday, federal forecasters say.