Winter Storm Watch Posted in Southern California

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 16 (UPI) — As clouds moved Saturday into Southern California, weather forecasters issued a winter storm watch for snow in the mountains and heavy rain along the coast.

The National Weather Service said late Saturday that snow could begin in the mountains of Los Angeles and Ventura counties as early as Sunday night and intensify Monday with more than a foot expected to accumulate during the first half of the week.

Coastal areas as far south as San Diego were expected to see 6-8 inches of rain next week as soggy Pacific storms move through.

“Serious flooding and destructive mudslides are the dangerous aspects of the upcoming storm onslaught,” AccuWeather forecaster Kristina Pydynowski said in a statement.

She added the lower elevations could see 6-8 inches of rain over the course of the week. Along with expected heavy surf along the coast, emergency managers are concerned about possible flash-flooding.

The Los Angeles Fire Department had sandbags available to the public at its fire stations. The U.S. Geological Survey said it would have about 50 people out in the rain monitoring potentially dangerous streams and areas where wildfires had burned off vegetation.

“Our field staff will be out in it,” said USGS hydrologist Jim Bowers.

Copyright 2010 by United Press International

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