Strongest storm in years to drench Southern California

Local authorities advise those who live in locations ravaged by fires including the Blue Cut and Pilot fire burn areas to prepare for possible flooding and mudslides.

Higher rainfall totals, likely into the double digits, will occur in mountainous areas, with heavy snow falling in the higher peaks of Los Angeles and San Diego counties, among others.

California has been getting an above average amount of rain lately, and now Los Angeles was forecast to be hit with some similarly inclement weather, as well.

Fortunately, the heaviest precipitation from this particular storm is not hitting Lake Oroville in north-central California, where almost 200,000 people were ordered to evacuate earlier on Sunday due to fears that a part of Oroville Dam's infrastructure - the nation's tallest - could fail.

"It's good for me", he said.

The NWS also warned of the potential of risky surf on Facebook. More rain is expected in that area though during the next five days.

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The city of Duarte, about 20 miles (32 km) east of Los Angeles, said in a statement it had ordered residents of 180 homes to evacuate given the potential for mudslides.

Cal Poly, the state university in San Luis Obispo, was keeping an eye on an unstable hillside near a dormitory housing 275 students. A winter storm warning will be in force in the San Gabriel mountains from Friday morning through Saturday morning.

"This looks to be the strongest storm to hit southwest California this season", it said in a statement.

Up the West Coast, after a week of snow and heavy rains, landslides were covering roads in Washington state.

In just one week, the percentage of California considered to be in a drought dropped by 22 percent, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, a weekly report issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the University of Nebraska.

After five years of drought, California has seen a long series of storms that have filled reservoirs and loaded the Sierra Nevada with snow. The latter category was confined to a sliver of territory northwest of Los Angeles.

  • Adam Floyd