LOS ANGELES – The first of two storms predicted this week brought some snow on the mountains and the generally modest amounts of rain as it moved through California on Monday, but some municipalities were hesitant about the potential for mudslides and debris flows.
The storm dropped by the San Francisco Bay Area in the morning and fell to the snow in the Sierra Nevada, where the trip was stumbling on Interstate 80 and the US. 50.
The relatively narrow storm band continued in a southerly direction along the coast and brought rain to the state of the Central Valley agricultural heartland.
In Sacramento, a short thunderstorm with hail covered the Capitol grounds in white, with legislators heading outside to take selfies. Fire officials shared photos of cars stuck in a coating of mud, warning drivers to be careful.
On the south coast of Santa Barbara County, where the community of Montecito is still trying to recover from the devastating debris flows that hit during a storm in the last month, officials issued a pre-evacuation advisory” ahead of the storm’s expected arrival late Monday night.
The advice is the first step in a new three-level alarm notification is made to eliminate the word “voluntary.”
In the aftermath of the disaster, the officials concluded that some residents focus more on the idea that they have an insight than at the suggestion or order to evacuate.
The advice means that there is a possible risk to life or property and people must prepare to leave, to monitor the situation and leave every time they feel threatened, even if there is not an extra message.
The next two levels are a “recommended evacuation warning” and a “mandatory evacuation order.” The latter does not allow officials to forcibly remove people from their homes, but residents should not expect rescue or other assistance when an event starts.
Santa Barbara County issued the pre-evacuation-advice on the basis of the instability in the weather system that could lead to thunderstorms.
By early afternoon, however, the National Weather Service said it expects the system to significantly weaken by the time it reached that area.
Forecasting models, such as the unstable air would be pushed out further from the coast and in the vicinity of the land, “a further reduction of the already very small chance for heavier rain rates in the vicinity of the burn areas,” the weather service said.
The chance of rain rates reaching a level that could cause significant mud and debris flows was less than 5 percent.
Snow levels were expected to fall to a low level after midnight in Southern California, bringing potential problems for motorists traveling Interstate 5 over Tejon Pass and Interstate 15 over Cajon Pass.
Forecasters said the next weather system comes in Northern California on Wednesday and reach the south by Thursday, bringing much more precipitation.