The first in a series of Pacific storms moved across Southern California on Saturday, bringing rainfall and showers and prompting a high surf advisory along west-facing beaches.
Another weaker system was expected to move through Saturday night and Sunday morning, to be followed by a stronger storm Monday, according to the National Weather Service. The storms will not be as powerful as the systems that drenched Southern California in late December and resulted in huge waves pounding area beaches.
About a quarter-inch of rain was expected Saturday across the Los Angeles region, the weather service said. Some areas in San Luis Obispo County reported more than an inch.
Because the storms originated in warmer parts of the Pacific and not off the Alaskan coast, snow was expected only at the highest elevations in local mountains, according to Mike Wofford, a meteorologist with the weather service in Oxnard.
The weather service is predicting an inch to 2 inches of snow between 6,500 and 7,500 feet and 6 to 12 inches above that altitude. The three storms were expected to drop an inch to 3 inches of rain in coastal areas of Southern California and up to 5 inches in the mountains.
Since Oct. 1, Los Angeles has experienced rainfall levels significantly below normal, said meteorologist Joe Sirard with the weather service's Oxnard office.
For the period, Sirard said, the climate station in downtown Los Angeles has recorded 3.4 inches, compared with the average of 5.9 inches.
However, so far over the water year, which began July 1, L.A. has received 6.4 inches of rain— above the normal of 6.1 inches, Sirard said. This includes rain from Tropical Storm Hilary that battered areas of Southern California in August.
These figures do not include the rain from Saturday's storm.
High surf through Sunday was expected along beaches on the Central Coast and in Ventura and Los Angeles counties, with the possibility of minor flooding in some areas during periods of high tides in the early morning, according to the weather service.
Wofford said swells would be far smaller than the waves in late December — some of those as high as 20 feet—which led to flooding and forced officials to shut down beaches and piers in Ventura and Los Angeles counties.
In Northern California, the weather service issued a winter storm warning through Monday for parts of the Sierra Nevada and said that 2 inches to 6 inches of snow could fall above 6,500 feet. Wind gusts up to 30 mph were also possible, forecasters said.
In Southern California, drier weather is expected for much of next week.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.