Jon Baird

Rain in the Southland Could Mean Mudslides for Recent Burn Areas

October 03, 2018 - 12:47 pm

(KNX 1070/CNS) - It’s a matter of wait-and-see for many residents in the Holy Fire burn area.

With rain on the way, there is now a concern that the mud will start to flow.

A lot of dark clouds hanging over the LA area Wednesday and there is a concern of thunderstorms.

That would be bad news for people living in the recent burn areas. 

KNX reporter Jon Baird:

The first major rainfall of the season will hit the Southland Wednesday. It's raising fears of mudslides over recent burn areas  including in Orange County's Cleveland National Forest near the site of the recent Holy Fire and near Burbank and Sylmar as well.

Most of the rain is expected to come after noon with a slight chance of thunderstorms later. 

Light rain fell in the Southland this morning and showers are likely this afternoon, when there also will be a chance of thunderstorms, according to the National Weather Service.

Showers are also likely tonight, and there will be a slight chance of thunderstorms, forecasters said.

The chance of measurable precipitation today has been set at 70 percent in both L.A. and Orange counties.

The day's first rains were reported after 6 a.m., with the NWS reporting light rain in Santa Ana and Fullerton.

The remnants of Hurricane Rosa -- now a tropical depression -- will not be much of a factor in the Southland's rain episode, having largely migrated to Arizona and New Mexico, NWS forecasters said. Instead, the rain will be largely a product of an upper-level low-pressure system that originated in the central Pacific.

Although not a monster, today's weather system will be unusually strong for this time of the year, said NWS meteorologist Dave Bruno, adding that the lion's share of the precipitation will appear between noon and midnight.

The approaching system is raising some fears of mudslides and debris flows over areas previously denuded by wildfire -- including near the site of the Holy Fire in Orange County and, in L.A. County, the La Tuna Fire near Burbank and the Creek Fire north of Sylmar -- but those concerns are not particularly acute because mostly light rain is expected, according to Bruno. However, the risk of slides will increase considerably if thunderstorms appear since they can generate heavy downpours.

The NWS forecast thunderstorms in most of L.A. County today and showers in the Antelope Valley, along with highs of 61 on Mount Wilson; 69 in Avalon; 71 at LAX; 73 in Downtown L.A., Burbank, Saugus and Lancaster;; 74 in Long Beach; 73 in Burbank,  74 in Long Beach and Pasadena; and 75 in San Gabriel and Woodland Hills. Temperatures in the county will remain in the low- to-mid 70s through at least Tuesday.

Showers were forecast in Orange County, along with highs of 70 in San Clemente; 72 in Laguna Beach; 74 in Newport Beach; 76 in Anaheim; 77 in Fullerton, Irvine and Mission Viejo; and 78 in Yorba Linda. Highs will be in the mid-to-high 70s and low 80s through at least Tuesday.

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