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Brunt of powerful storm expected to hit L.A. County around 4 a.m. Wednesday

December 21, 2010 |  1:18 pm

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The brunt of the next rainstorm is forecast to hit around 4 a.m. Wednesday, bringing with it up to 3 inches of rain in the L.A. Basin along with lightning, hail and possible waterspouts along the coast.

This storm could end up being the worst in a six-day series of storms. Here's the forecast from the National Weather Service:

Tuesday and Wednesday:

• Heavy rain potential, with thunderstorms

• Rainfall rates approaching 1 inch per hour or more

• Rough timing: after 10 p.m. Tuesday along Central Coast, 2 a.m. Wednesday in Ventura County, 4 a.m. in Los Angeles County

• Six- to eight-hour period of intense rain with 1 to 3 inches along the coast and in valleys, and 2 to 5 inches in the mountains, with the San Gabriel Mountains expected to get 3 to 8 inches. 

• High surf and possible near-shore waterspouts

• A winter storm warning for 1 to 2 feet of snow above 6,000 feet elevation

• High tide of up to 6 feet around 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Potential problems Tuesday night and Wednesday:

• Intense rain could lead to flash flooding mainly for Los Angeles County, where less drying is expected to occur

• Possible flash-flood watch for non-burn areas

• Urban and small-stream flooding elsewhere, with possible debris flows at burn areas, rock slides, etc.

• Significant flows, but no flooding, expected in rivers

• Gusty winds could lead to downed trees and power lines

• Coastal beach erosion, minor flooding

RELATED:

 Photos: Series of storms hits Southern California

--Rong-Gong Lin II

Photo: A driver in a Jeep crosses floodwaters on a washed-out section of Lytle Creek Road in San Bernardino County. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times

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