Rains return to Southern California on Friday after brief break

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 15, 2023: Wrapped in clear plastic rain coats, street vendors try and stay dry from a late afternoon rain storm while selling their fruits during a in Boyle Heights on November 15, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
Wrapped in clear plastic raincoats, street vendors try to stay dry from a late afternoon rainstorm. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

After a short reprieve from showers Thursday, forecasters are calling for rainfall to again return to Southern California on Friday and Saturday.

A moisture-rich system off the California coast is bringing cooler, wet weather across the state through Saturday, with a risk for thunderstorms and isolated showers.

In Southern California, heavier rains are expected to return to the area by late Friday, following a drier 24 hours, said Ryan Kittell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

“Today’s a little bit [of a break] between the two waves of rain,” Kittell said Thursday morning. He said most of Los Angeles County should remain dry Thursday, though showers will be more frequent further north, from Santa Barbara County up through the Bay Area.

On Wednesday, the first wave of storms dropped up to 2 inches of rain across L.A. County. Kittell said similar amounts can be expected Friday evening through Saturday.

In the following two days, he said there will be a threat for thunderstorms, which can bring more intense rains, gusty winds, some localized street and creek flooding and lightning.

“Be cognizant on the roads if you have to travel, especially on Saturday," Kittell said. "Plan for some extra time."

The weather Wednesday brought "a good amount of rain for the L.A. area," Kittell said. Most areas recorded only amounts below an inch, but some areas in the foothills and mountains got more, according to the National Weather Service.

Forecasts are still calling for weeklong rain totals between 1 and 3 inches.

Rainfall in the mountains Wednesday saw the highest amounts, with some areas recording almost 2 inches: Crystal Lake got 1.89 inches, Cedar Springs got 1.6 inches and Mount Baldy got just over 1 inch.

Downtown L.A. recorded one-third of an inch, while Pasadena saw two-thirds of an inch and Long Beach got a half inch, the weather service reported.

Rainfall will also pick up Friday into Saturday up the coast. Forecasters in the Bay Area are warning of strong thunderstorms that could bring small hail.

But by Sunday, things should start drying out, Kittell said.

“We’re going to quickly transition into dry, offshore flow for Sunday afternoon through Tuesday," Kittell said. "We’re looking for a Santa Ana [wind event] to return by Monday."

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.