SoCal Rain

Heavy rain poured on the Southland overnight, prompting mudslides, debris flows and flooding that made for a messy morning drive (Westside Current). 

LOS ANGELES  - Heavy rain poured on the Southland overnight, prompting mudslides, debris flows and flooding that made for a messy morning drive that was fortunately light due to the approaching holiday weekend.

Snowfall forced the closure of Interstate 5 through the Grapevine early Thursday morning in northern Los Angeles County, while a mudslide blocked traffic and trapped some vehicles on Coldwater Canyon Avenue in Studio City, and flooding blocked the westbound Santa Monica (10) Freeway near the McClure Tunnel in Santa Monica.

In Malibu, more than two dozen people had to be evacuated from Leo Carrillo State Beach campground due to flooding, which also led to closures on Pacific Coast Highway. Decker Road was closed at PCH due to multiple rockslides, according to the city, which also reported multiple instances of downed trees blocking roadways.

A stretch of PCH was closed in Pacific Palisades due to a fallen tree that brought down power lines, according to Caltrans.

Overnight, Mulholland Highway was closed in the Santa Monica Mountains between Las Virgenes and Cornell roads due to mud that inundated the roadway.

  Downpours were expected to continue throughout the morning, with the rain anticipated to taper off in the afternoon, giving way to a dry but cool weekend.

Around mid-morning, forecasters said they were still monitoring the path of the storm, but parts of Los Angeles County could still get another 2 to 4 inches of rain before the system exits the area.

``All considered, there's still the risk of higher (rainfall) rates and the potential for mud and debris flows from the recent burn areas of L.A. County,'' according to the NWS.

Parts of the Santa Monica Mountains had already received between 3 and 5 inches of rain by Thursday morning, with 2 to 3 inches falling in surrounding areas, the weather service reported.

A winter storm warning will be in effect until 8 p.m. Thursday in the Los Angeles County mountains, excluding the Santa Monica range. The National Weather Service said 1 to 3 feet of snow was expected to accumulate above 5,000 feet, with ``light snow'' falling at lower elevations. Winds were also gusting in the area, with the NWS saying 45 to 50 mph sustained winds were anticipated, with higher-elevation gusts of up to 60 mph.

``Travel could be very difficult to impossible,'' according to the NWS.

According to the NWS, roughly 18 inches of snow had already fallen in the eastern San Gabriel Mountains by mid-morning Thursday, with 3 to 6 inches falling in Frazier Park

Stretches of Angeles Crest Highway were closed due to the poor weather conditions, along with state Route 39.

Caltrans reminded motorists that chains were required on the Angeles Crest Highway north of La Canada Flintridge, and the agency urged motorists to be aware of road conditions and anticipate possible closures due to snow.

Gusting winds were also impacting the Antelope Valley, where the NWS issued a wind advisory through 10 p.m. Forecasters said the area should expect winds of 15 to 30 mph, with gusts up to 45 mph, potentially reducing visibility for motorists and blowing dust across roadways.

In Orange County, a mandatory evacuation order that was in effect for the Silverado, Williams and Modjeska canyon areas in the Bond Fire burn area due to fears of possible debris flows was downgraded Thursday morning to voluntary. Streets in the area that were closed overnight were reopened to local traffic only.

The NWS issued a flash flood watch for Orange County coastal and inland areas and the Santa Ana Mountains, including the Bond Fire burn area.

The watch will be in effect through Thursday afternoon, and the evacuation order is expected to remain in place at least that long.

  ``Excessive runoff may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone locations,'' according to the NWS.

``Flooding may occur in poor drainage and urban areas. Flash flooding and debris flows are possible, especially near recent burn scars.''

  NWS forecasters for Orange County said the area could receive up to 2.5 inches of rain along the coast and as much as 6 inches in the mountains below 5,000 feet, with hourly rainfall amount of 0.6 to 0.7 inches possible.

A flash flood watch will continue through Thursday afternoon for Los Angeles County burn areas from the Lake, Bobcat, Dam and Ranch 2 fires. Forecasters said the areas could experience ``several hours of moderate to heavy rain ... which could lead to flash flooding and debris flows.''

According to the NWS, 2 to 4 inches of rain could fall in L.A. County coastal and valley areas by the time the storm moves through, with 3 to 7 inches falling in the mountains.

   ``By (Thursday), the steadier precipitation should hang on over LA County through at least the morning hours then become more showery in the afternoon,'' according to the NWS.

   Forecasters said there will be a chance of some thunderstorms.

   Temperatures will also remain ``significantly below average'' across the region, according to the NWS.