Storm brings strong winds; flash floods are possible
A powerful storm moved into Southern California on Friday afternoon, bringing with it winds and the threat of water spouts and lightning.
Periods of heavy rain were reported in Orange, San Diego, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, and officials expected the Los Angeles Basin will be hit soon.
The National Weather Service said the storm could bring heavy snow in the mountains, the potential for funnel clouds on the coast and 70 mph wind gusts in moutain passes.
"A strong front will bring a four- to seven-hour period of heavy rain this afternoon into tonight," the weather service said in a statement. "Numerous showers will continue across the region through Saturday night. There will be a chance of thunderstorms at anytime from this afternoon through Saturday night."
A flash-flood watch has been issued for mountain areas that have been scorched by wildfires in recent years.
The heaviest rainfall is expected to hit Santa Barbara and Ventura counties Friday afternoon and reach the Los Angeles area in the late afternoon and last until about midnight, the weather service said.
The flash-flood watch was issued for areas that were burned by blazes such as the Station and Morris fires in the San Gabriel Mountains in 2009, the weather service said.
Those areas "will have the potential for flash flooding and debris flows," the agency said.
-- Robert J. Lopez