By Mary O’KEEFE
Get ready; Southern California is about to experience something a little unusual – rain.
The rain that the state needs so badly is heading our way in the form of two storms. The first, and smaller, one started to arrive in Crescenta Valley Wednesday evening, said Bonnie Bartlett, weather specialist with the National Weather Service Oxnard.
“That storm should bring a one half to up to three inches of rain in the mountains,” she said.
The second storm, which is expected to arrive overnight tonight, or early Friday morning, carries a bigger punch.
“Friday is going to be the biggest impact into Saturday,” Bartlett said.
Snow levels will begin at 8,000 feet with one to three feet then dropping temperatures will lower snow levels to 7,000 to 6,000 feet with snowfall of four to eight inches. This second wave will also bring some south/southwestern winds with gust up to 65 MPH in the mountains.
“There is a winter storm watch for the LA mountains,” Barlett said. “That means it has a potential for thunderstorms and possible water spouts and small tornadoes along the coastline.”
It is important to remember that the roadways have been affected by the drought as well. Rain on the dry roads equals slippery conditions.
“We always advise driving for the road conditions,” said California Highway Patrol Officer Patrick Kimball. Prior to the rain, Kimball suggests drivers check the tread on their tires because good tread will reduce the risk of hydroplaning and to make certain windshield wipers work well.
CHP does see an increase in traffic accidents when roads are wet.
“Keep a good cushion between you and the car in front of you. And give yourself extra time to get from point A to B,” he said.
When the bigger storm hits on Saturday, Kimball has another suggestion.
“On Saturday, if you [can], just stay home,” he advised.
For those who need them, sandbags are available for residents. Empty bags are available at Los Angeles County Fire Dept. stations 19 at 1729 Foothill Blvd., and Station 63 at 4526 Ramsdell Ave. Sand is available at the parking lot across from Memorial Park,1301 Foothill Blvd. Residents need to bring their own shovel.