LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A powerful storm that brought record rainfall to parts of Los Angeles was slowly moving out of the area Wednesday, but waves of showers were expected to continue throughout the day, with periods of heavy precipitation and thunderstorms possible.
"There will be quite a mixed bag of weather today, including some peaks of sunshine and some local flooding as well from the heavier showers," according to the National Weather Service. "The air mass isn't quite as unstable as yesterday so the chances for thunderstorms are much less but not zero. In the mountains ... several more inches of snow (are still) possible, especially above around 5,000 (feet) but a few more inches possible over the Grapevine on Interstate 5 where the summit is right around 4,000, so some delays there are certainly possible at times."
Forecasters said rainfall totals were hard to predict for Wednesday, due to the "showery nature" of the lingering storm system.
"Most of the coasts/valleys will see a quarter to a half-inch of additional rain, while a half-inch to an inch is possible over the mountains," according to the NWS.
Temperatures will also remain noticeably cooler Wednesday, which will be the coldest of the next seven days, forecasters said. Highs will only be in the 50s -- about 12 to 18 degrees below normal.
The storm system dumped buckets of rain in many areas on Tuesday, shattering multiple records for the date. In downtown Los Angeles, 1.43 inches of rain was reported Tuesday, breaking the previous record for the day of 1.34 inches for the day set in 1893. At Hollywood Burbank Airport, 1.14 inches of rain was reported, breaking the record of 1.13 inches for the day set in 1992.
At LAX, 1.01 inches of rain fell, breaking the record of 0.73 inches for the day set in 1958. At Long Beach Airport, 1.53 inches of rain was reported, breaking the record of 0.82 inches for the day set in 1983. At Lancaster Fox Field, 0.67 inches of rain was reported, breaking the record of 0.62 inches for the day set in 1995.
The rain led to some localized flooding and concerns about mudslides and debris flows.
Caltrans announced Wednesday morning that Topanga Canyon Boulevard will be closed from noon to 6 p.m. in the Malibu area to remove a boulder that is threatening to fall on the road. The road will be closed from Pacific Coast Highway to Grand View Drive, according to Caltrans.
A winter storm warning will be in effect until 11 p.m. in the San Gabriel Mountains and in the 5 and 14 Freeway corridors. Forecasters predicted total accumulations of 2 to 5 feet of snow above 6,000 feet during the storm, with 10 to 20 inches possible between 5,000 and 6,000 feet, and 2 to 10 inches between 3,500 and 5,000 feet -- accompanied by winds gusting to 75 mph. According to the National Weather Service, several inches of snow could fall in the Grapevine section of the Golden State (5) Freeway.
The California Highway Patrol was briefly escorting motorists through the Grapevine area Tuesday night due to treacherous conditions.
A flood watch will also be in effect for Orange County coastal and inland areas through Wednesday evening -- with rivers, creeks, streams and other low-lying and flood-prone locations susceptible.
Shortly after 8 p.m. Tuesday, the NWS issued a brief tornado warning for southwestern Los Angeles County and central Ventura County. At 8:17 p.m., "a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located over Point Mugu State Park, or 10 miles south of Camarillo, moving northeast at 35 mph," according to the agency.
The warning expired at about 8:30 p.m. Forecasters said the storm that prompted the warning had weakened below severe limits, and no longer appeared capable of producing a tornado.
According to the NWS, the chance of rain will diminish by Wednesday night, and conditions should dry out through the end of the week, and likely through the weekend. Forecasters said there could be another chance of light rain sometime between Monday night and Wednesday.