Two storms are predicted this week, one on Wednesday/Thursday and the other from Thursday to Saturday. The storms may bring the heaviest rainfall since December 2012.
With 2013 being the driest recorded year in Ventura County, it really has felt like Albert Hammond got it right in his song, “It Never Rains in Southern California.” Give it a listen while reading:
Seems it never rains in southern California
Seems I’ve often heard that kind of talk before
It never rains in California
Do you mean, “Winter is coming?”
Why not! It is California, after all! We probably won’t get any Polar Vortex, but this is the perfect time to check your windshield wipers, find an umbrella or rain jacket, and break out your Rainbows! (You’re probably already wearing flip-flops because that Cali weather, amirite?!)
It is also prudent to plan for traffic accidents, along with possible flooding or mudslides.
But girl don’t they warn ya
It pours, man it pours
The first and weaker storm is expected late Wednesday to Thursday morning. The NWS forecasts a quarter to one inch of rain (.25″ to 1″), with daytime snow levels Wednesday between 7000 and 7500 feet and nighttime Wednesday to Thursday at 6500 feet. Effects may include slick roads and light flooding of low-lying areas.
The second and stronger storm is late Thursday night to late Saturday night. On the coast and in valleys, look for one to three inches of rain (1″ to 3″); in foothills and mountains, three to six inches, with local areas toward eight inches (4″ to 6″, possible 8″). Snow levels of 7000 to 7500 feet on Friday; 5000–5500 feet Friday night to Saturday.
The impact of this second storm may include mud and debris flows in burn areas (this includes areas affected by the Camarillo Springs Fire, such as California State University Channel Islands and the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area), winter conditions in the mountains, urban flooding, and thunderstorms.
Check this NWS map of expected rainfall amounts:
The storms will also affect beaches and coastal waters. The NWS has issued a beach hazard statement for Thursday to Sunday. This means high surf and strong rip currents. (Earlier on their Facebook they posted an image and alert about gale force winds, waterspouts, hail, and thunderstorms in coastal waters—don’t see it on the official site.)
Disclaimer about the rest of this post
Things probably won’t get SUPER crazy, but I am including the below for reference.
(Disclaimer for real: Every effort has been made to offer the most current, correct, and clearly expressed information possible, but I, and whatever website, group, or organization this post is affiliated with, disclaim any responsibility or liability for harms or damages as a result of the information and resources.)
The Ventura County Fire Department has a file on flood-preparedness that includes the following tips to get ready:
- Clear debris from roof gutters, downspouts, and drains
- Check the roof for leaks or damages
- Sign up for the VC Alert Emergency Notification System (here are their FAQs)
- Prepare an emergency kit
Driving in the rain
Driving in the rain takes more awareness, concentration, and caution. Two cornerstones of wet weather driving are:
- Reduce your speed
- Increase visibility
Number one: reduce your speed. It is suggested to drive five mph slower than the posted speed limit, which may translate to ten or fifteen mph slower than normal (especially on the freeways). This promotes proper traction between your tires and the road, reducing the risk of hydroplaning. (If you do find yourself hydroplaning—don’t break! Just take your foot off the gas and regain control of your vehicle.)
Number two: increase visibility. Do this for yourself and others by using your headlights and your windshield wipers.
The LA County Sheriff also mentions increasing following distance and to check breaks and tires.
Alerts and closures
These are some resources for weather, park, and traffic alerts, closures, and restrictions:
- Los Padres National Forest Alerts and Notices
- Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Closures and Restrictions
- National Weather Service Los Angeles/Oxnard (Ventura County alerts)
- CalTrans District Seven
The Ventura County Watershed Protection District is an information dump “created solely for the convenience of the County and related public agencies,” which includes daily rain levels and a lot of maps. One of those maps highlights flood areas around Ventura County.
The California Nevada River Forecast Center website hosts an observed precipitation page, one of which is specific to Ventura County rainfall.
Enjoy the rain, stay safe out there, continue to conserve water, and tag your weather pictures with #ventureventura!