A Pacific storm is hitting Southern California Monday morning, generating rain and snow, creating treacherous conditions in the San Gabriel Mountains and raising fears of mudslides and debris flows over areas stripped bare by the Woolsey fire in LA and Ventura counties and the Holy fire in Riverside and Orange counties, forecasters said.
Authorities issued voluntary evacuation orders ahead of the forecast storm for portions of Lake Elsinore impacted by the Holy
A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for the Lake Elsinore area beginning Monday, Jan, 14, until midnight, according to the National Weather Service.
“There is the potential of mud slides and debris flows at recent burn scars, particularly near the Holy Fire burn scar,”the advisory said. “Debris flows can happen suddenly with little time to act. Heed the advice of local officials. In addition, street flooding is possible along with the possibility of some road closures.”
Heavy snow is expected, with snow accumulation of 6 to 12 inches anticipated above 5,000 feet and 1 to 3 inches between 4,000 and 5,000 feet, according to the NWS. There also could be light snow accumulation down to 3,500 feet, which could affect Interstate 5 through the Grapevine.
At the same time, “damaging” winds of 25 to 35 miles per hour gusting at up to 60 mph will buffet the northwest San Gabriels, including the Interstate 5 corridor, the weather service said.
“Plan on difficult travel conditions, including during the evening commute on Monday and the morning commute Tuesday. Be prepared for significant reductions invisibility at times,” according to the NWS statement. A Winter Storm Warning for snow means severe winter weather conditions will make travel very hazardous or impossible.
“If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency. The latest road conditions from CalTrans are available by calling (800) 427-7623.”
In Orange County — including coastal, inland and mountain areas — a flash flood watch will be in force from Monday afternoon through the evening.
A wind advisory and a high surf advisory will also be in force Monday in parts of Southern California.