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Strong rainstorm expected Friday in Southern California

February 25, 2010 |  7:13 am

A powerful storm is expected to push into Southern California late Friday, bringing potential thunderstorms, heavy downpours, gusty winds and hail, according to the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

The forecast warned residents in recent burn areas to be alert for possible flash flooding and debris flows. The brief storm that hit Wednesday moved eastward, and the area will get a respite from the rain Friday morning and afternoon.

But another storm moving over the eastern Pacific Ocean is expected to arrive in the late afternoon across the Central Coast and will move in overnight into Saturday morning for Ventura and Los Angeles counties, bringing a slight chance of thunderstorms.

Rainfall estimates for this storm range from 0.75 to 1.5 inches across coastal and valley areas, with 1.5 to 2.5 inches possible in the foothill and mountain locations. Burn areas could experience flash flooding, the forecast said.

Snow levels are expected to fall to between 4,500 and 5,500 feet by Saturday morning, which could affect the highest portions of the Santa Barbara County mountains and the Grapevine corridor.

The potential for significant snow and wind at higher elevations could bring a winter storm watch warning, forecasters said.

-- My-Thuan Tran

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