Fox News Weather Center

Pacific Storm to Bring Rain, Flooding to California

Much-needed rain will spread over California by the middle of the new week, bringing some relief to the ongoing drought.

A system moving in from the Pacific Ocean will begin to spread rain over the Golden State on Tuesday with rain forecast to continue through much of Wednesday.

While a series of storms have brought rain to parts of northern and central California over the past few weeks, this is going to be the first significant rain event for Southern California since the the spring.

Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Fresno could all receive over an inch of rain from this storm with some locations receiving upwards of 2 inches by Wednesday night.

The heaviest rain is expected to move over Southern California on Tuesday on the onset of the rain, remaining steady through Tuesday night before tapering off on Wednesday.

Travel disruptions are possible on both Tuesday and Wednesday with rain reducing visibility for drivers and causing delays at the airport.

While this single rain event will likely have a small impact on the long-term drought, it will have a higher impact in the short term.

Many cities across California have only received a fraction of the rainfall that they typically see during the month of November.

Rainfall in November
Percent of Normal
Los Angeles 0.18 17%
San Diego 0.37 37%
San Francisco 0.87 37%
Fresno 0.39 36%
Palm Springs 0.07 13%
Bakersfield 0.01 2%

Despite the benefits the rain will bring in relation to the drought, it will also bring some negative impacts to those across the state.

Bouts of torrential downpours can result in localized flooding, especially in urban areas and in valleys.

In the most extreme cases, several inches of rain around mountainous terrain could trigger a few mudslides.

This could turn out to be the biggest rain event in Los Angeles since the end of February when a system dumped over 4 inches on the city.

Drier conditions are forecast to return to much of California by Thursday, making for better conditions for those looking to spend time in the outdoors.

However, a few showers may linger around over northern California and along the state's coast as the storm tracks across the Plains.