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Southern California rain forecast: Drizzle first, more on Sunday

A new weather system was bringing rain to parts of Southern California on Saturday night, starting with drizzle and gaining stronger overnight leading into morning, a National Weather Service meteorologist said.

The fast-moving system already was producing rainfall by 5:40 p.m. in extreme western Los Angeles County near the Ventura County line, according to meteorologist Kristen Stewart.

It will be the second storm system to move through the region in the past week, the first bringing light rain on Thursday.

“It is unusual to have multiple storms in May,” Stewart said. She attributed the weekly or biweekly systems to the jet stream, which usually shifts to Oregon and Washington State and Oregon in May but this month has remained over Northern California and the Oregon border, causing cold fronts to dip into the Southland.

Radar loop over #SoCal from 6:18 to 7:24 pm. Some locations in LA County are reporting light rain with the weak echoes crossing the county now. The light rain will gradually make its way southeast overnight, reaching the #sandiego metro area early Sunday morning. #CAwx pic.twitter.com/NHbL3Rhovp

— NWS San Diego (@NWSSanDiego) May 19, 2019

The weak El Nino “tips the scale in favor of rain” but is not the sole cause, she said.

Showers should be more widespread throughout the South Coast Basin by Sunday morning, with accumulations of 1/4 to a half-inch, Stewart said.

The mountain snow levels will be between 5,500 and 6,500 feet with accumulations of 1-6 inches, she said.

Temperatures will remain below normal, especially Sunday and Tuesday when highs around the region are forecast to be in the mid- to upper 60s. Monday’s highs could reach the low 70s, Stewart said.

Meteorologists foresee another storm system hitting Southern California Tuesday afternoon and night, but are not sure about how much rain to expect, she said.

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