Monday, November 24, 2008
Cloud cover over east San Gabriels today.
By Guy McCarthy
A flash flood watch issued at 1 p.m. today for the coming storm has been expanded to include the recent burn areas in Santa Barbara County and the San Fernando Valley.
At 2:27 p.m., a statement from the National Weather Service in Oxnard emphasized the concern for areas scorched by fires:
ALTHOUGH A STORM OF THIS MAGNITUDE THIS TIME OF YEAR WOULD NOT BY ITSELF POSE A RISK FOR LIFE-THREATENING FLOODING...AREAS THAT HAVE BEEN DENUDED FROM RECENT BURNS ARE AT AN INCREASED RISK FOR FLASH FLOODS AND DEBRIS FLOWS...AND THE FLASH FLOOD WATCH IS FOR THESE AREAS ONLY.
The watch area highlighted by the National Weather Service includes the estimated 47 square miles that burned in the Freeway Complex Fire.
If hard rains come to inland areas, they are expected between Tuesday evening and Wednesday evening.
Residents in and below recently burned areas in Orange County have been warned of the potential danger for several days. Sandbagging and other mitigation efforts continue today in Yorba Linda.
Here's the 1 p.m. alert:
* FLASH FLOOD WATCH FOR A PORTION OF SOUTHWEST CALIFORNIA...INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING AREAS...COACHELLA VALLEY...ORANGE COUNTY COASTAL AREAS...RIVERSIDE COUNTY MOUNTAINS...SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY MOUNTAINS...SAN BERNARDINO AND RIVERSIDE COUNTY VALLEYS-THE INLAND EMPIRE...SAN DIEGO COUNTY COASTAL AREAS...SAN DIEGO COUNTY DESERTS...SAN DIEGO COUNTY MOUNTAINS...SAN DIEGO COUNTY VALLEYS AND SANTA ANA MOUNTAINS AND FOOTHILLS.
* FROM TUESDAY EVENING THROUGH WEDNESDAY EVENING
* A STORM APPROACHING FROM THE WEST WILL BRING PERIODS OF MODERATE TO HEAVY RAIN TUESDAY EVENING INTO WEDNESDAY EVENING. THE SNOW LEVEL WILL START OUT QUITE HIGH AND THEN LOWER TO ABOUT 6500 FEET BY WEDNESDAY NIGHT...SO MOST OF THE PRECIPITATION WILL FALL AS RAIN. THIS WILL MAKE FLASH FLOODING POSSIBLE...ESPECIALLY IN AND BELOW RECENTLY BURNED AREAS AND NEAR STEEP TERRAIN.
A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS MAY DEVELOP THAT LEAD TO FLASH FLOODING. FLASH FLOODING IS A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION.