Goodbye, Outdoor Weekend Plans. The Rain Is Coming Back (2024)

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What you should know

  • Rain forecast
  • Snow, wind and surf, too
  • Yes, this is an El Niño year
  • Where things stand overall
  • Tips for driving in the rain

Just as Angelenos have been warming up to sunny days and 80-degree weather this week, here comes the rain — again.

Rain forecast

An approaching storm will bring rain & mtn snow to the area late Fri-Sun. 1/4-1" rain most areas, 1-2" mtns & foothills. Snow 1-4" above 5400', 4-8" higher elevations. A slight chance of Tstms Sat-Sun with potential for strong storms. #Cawx #LA #SoCal

— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) April 11, 2024

The National Weather Service predicts this weekend’s rainstorm will hit Friday night and continue through Sunday.

It’s not expected to be as intense as some of the storms that have rolled through the region in recent months. Still, expect high surf, snow in the local mountains, and intense winds in the mountains, valleys and desert areas.

Up to an inch of rain is expected in the coastal and valley areas, with more in the mountains and foothills. The weather service also predicts a chance of thunderstorms in some areas with heavier rain and possibly even hail.

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Snow, wind and surf, too

Snow levels are expected to drop to 4,500 to 5,000 feet between Saturday night and Sunday, and possibly to as low as 4,000 feet, including in the Grapevine I-5 Tejon Pass area.

Wind gusts could reach 30 to 40 mph in the mountains and inland valleys; the weather service warns of hazardous conditions on mountain roads above 4,500 feet, in part due to blowing snow from gusty winds.

Surf is expected to be highest along the Central Coast but will also affect west-facing local beaches, especially on Sunday, with dangerous rip currents.

Yes, this is an El Niño year

Goodbye, Outdoor Weekend Plans. The Rain Is Coming Back (1)

A look at an El Niño weather pattern.


Courtesy NOAA


The National Weather Service has referred to this past year’s El Niño weather pattern as “one of the strongest El Niño events on record.”

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Understanding weather patterns

The climate patterns known as El Niño and La Niña can have substantial impacts on the weather in California. They tend to develop some time around March, with one or the other coming along every three to five years, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

What's the difference between them? Here are the basics:

El Niño

  • Tends to last 9-12 months.
  • Occurs when trade winds weaken, and waters in the eastern and central equatorial Pacific warm.
  • Can result in wetter weather in Southern California and drier weather further north.

La Niña

  • Can last 1-3 years.
  • Occurs when strong trade winds build, and waters in the eastern and central equatorial Pacific cool.
  • Can result in drier weather in SoCal and wetter weather further north.

Where things stand overall

This is the latest in a series of weekend storms to hit L.A., which endured a soggy Easter just before the official end of the rainy season April 1. All the precipitation has put California's snowpack, which is critical to water supplies in the state, above average. All that rain also benefitted the state's reservoirs.

Tips for driving in the rain

  • Checkweatherandroad conditionsall along your planned route
  • Slow down
  • Keep a wider-than-usual distance between your vehicle and the one in front
  • Don't drive through standing water — as little as 12 inches of rushing water can carry away most cars, and two feet can carry away SUVs and trucks.
  • Make sure tires are fully inflated
  • Check windshield wiper blades and replace if necessary

Read more:What You Should Do If You End Up Driving In A Flooded Area

Climate Emergency Questions

Fires. Mudslides. Heat waves. What questions do you need answered as you prepare for the effects of the climate emergency?

Goodbye, Outdoor Weekend Plans. The Rain Is Coming Back (2024)
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