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Jan-20-2010 22:08printcomments

Stronger Storms Bear Down on California, Southwest

Twenty-foot waves will also batter the California coast, leading to over-wash flooding, property damage and severe beach erosion.

Waves Pound Asilomar Beach, Calif
Waves Pound Asilomar Beach, Calif. (Photo by Facebook User Ryan Lazalier) Maps courtesy:

(LOS ANGELES) - As the magnitude of storms increases from the Pacific Ocean, the risk to lives and property will escalate into Friday over California and neighboring states.

Not counting the latest storm bashing the Southwest Wednesday, one to two additional storms will slam ashore through Friday evening.

The storms will continue to pack high winds, flooding rain, feet of snowin the higher elevations, massive waves and severe thunderstorms over the region during the period.

Unfortunately, as bad as the storms to date have been, the caboose in the train could be the worst in terms of damage and disruptions.

This is not only due to the cumulative effects thus far, but the last storm in the series is typically the biggest and baddest.

Flash flooding, mudslides and downed trees represent the greatest threats to human lives.

In this situation, which will rival that of the big storms of the 1980s, mudslides will not be limited to recent burn areas.

The Foothills Incident Unified Commanders has ordered evacuations for some foothill communities below the Angeles National Forest, where the Station Fire raged from late August to October.

The south- and southwest-facing slopes will receive the greatest amounts of rain. The cumulative effect of the rainfall throughout the week will top a foot and may reach 20 inches in these areas.

Six months' to one year's worth of rain will result in much of the desert areas, where flooding likely will not be a stranger as well.

The saturated ground makes it easier for not only mudslides, but downed trees and road wash-outs. While run-off will fill reservoirs, it will continue to transform streams and rivers into raging torrents.

The pattern also remains favorable for additional severe thunderstorms bearing hail, gusty winds and even a few waterspouts and tornadoes.

Twenty-foot waves will also batter the California coast, leading to over-wash flooding, property damage and severe beach erosion.

Fluctuating snow levels will cause problems for those venturing over the passes into Friday night. For more information on the snow in the West, consult the Southwest Regional News Story.

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