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Rare tornado warning issued for San Diego County

While the worst of the rain may be over, the storm is still lingering, and much of Southern California is under flash flood alerts.

What to know about California's weather

  • The lingering storm system that has battered California for days continues to pose a flooding risk for southern parts of the state.
  • A rare tornado warning was issued for parts of San Diego County. The warning has expired, but heavy rain and lightning were still possible.
  • The San Diego region remains under a flood watch through tonight because of excessive rainfall, the National Weather Service said, and residents in mountain areas are being warned about rockslides and rocks on the roads.
  • Farther north, flooding remained a concern as moderate to heavy showers continued to fall across Los Angeles and Ventura counties.
  • At least three people have died as a result of falling trees during the storm.

Birds of a feather weather the storm while tending to newly laid eggs

Big Bear Valley's celebrity couple, the eagles Jackie and Shadow, have been dutifully tending to three eggs Jackie laid starting on Jan. 25, important work amid 19 inches of snow in the area in three days.

The pair have demonstrated how they cope with extreme weather and the demands of an expanding family: by taking turns with home-life duties and, in Jackie's case, staying put when the worst weather arrives.

That is according to a new account of Jackie and Shadow's story posted on the Facebook page of the nonprofit group Friends of Big Bear Valley, which runs the Big Bear Eagle Nest Cam to keep track of the couple's activity.

The account says Jackie has spent 35 hours atop her eggs, protecting them from ravens, snow and overnight low temperatures in the 20s — soon to be in the teens. Shadow has been running errands — grabbing fluff and sticks for the nest when weather allows, the account said.

The Friends of Big Bear Valley warned that continued precipitation and strong winds overnight could knock the 24-hour-a-day webcam out of service temporarily. If only it had the fortitude of Jackie.

"She is built to handle this," the post says of her. "As the storm is predicted to continue for another day, Jackie and Shadow know what they are doing."

Woman stands among wreckage of house destroyed by landslide in L.A.

A woman stands among the wreckage of a house that was destroyed by a landslide in the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles today.

southern california weather
Mcnew / AFP - Getty Images

As rain continued today, a short break and then another storm were forecast

Another, weaker storm was expected to strike Southern California late in the week before sun and temperatures in the 60s were forecast to make a weekend comeback for the urban coastline.

But first, more rain: As evening fell, moderate to heavy showers were reported to be "expanding" in Ventura and Los Angeles counties, the National Weather Service said.

The urban sections of Los Angeles County and beyond could get 0.25 to 1.5 more inches of rain overnight, the weather service said. A short break could come tomorrow before the next in this early February series of storms strikes, it said.

"Do not let the break Wednesday morning misguide you - more rain and mountain snow coming Wednesday afternoon and night," the weather service's Oxnard office said on X.

The Oxnard office said in today's forecast discussion that the third storm is "a trough of low pressure" that will be "zipping down the West Coast" from its origins in waters off Alaska.

"This system will be able to interact with the lingering moisture from our current storm to bring one last band of organized precipitation Wednesday afternoon and night," the office said.

The weather service forecast office in San Diego said the third storm will strike San Diego County later tomorrow and continue to produce rain and possibly mountain snow through at least Thursday.

30 inches of mountain snow, 5 inches of urban rain recorded in Southern California

The atmospheric river-fueled Pacific storm that continues to soak Southern California unleashed 30 inches of snow in Wrightwood and 5 inches of rain in Laguna Niguel on the Orange County coast, forecasters said today.

And it's not done yet.

Those three-day precipitation figures were current through 2:19 p.m. today local time, according to the National Weather Service office in San Diego, which also covers Orange County and the Inland Empire.

An area near Mt. Baldy, in the San Gabriel Mountains south of Wrightwood, recorded 2 feet of snow. And to the east, in the Big Bear community of the San Bernardino Mountains, 19 inches of snow has fallen.

Some of the numbers appear to be rare. The northwestern end of San Diego County and, separately, the south Orange County community of Coto de Caza both recorded more than 7 inches of rain, most of a season's worth in San Diego to the south.

Also in Orange County, Laguna Niguel on the coast recorded 5 inches of rain, Huntington Beach and Anaheim both got more than 4 inches, and John Wayne Airport and Fullerton Airport recorded nearly 3 inches.

Urban San Diego has had the least of it so far, and it has been a lot: San Diego International Airport recorded 1.9 inches of rain. A normal season for the location brings less than 10 inches or rain, so the storm produced about one-fifth of an entire season's precipitation.

Two homes in Benedict Canyon damaged by mudflow

Mudflow damaged two homes in the tony Los Angeles community of Benedict Canyon, a city fire spokesperson said today.

The Cielo Drive homes have been yellow-tagged, Los Angeles Fire Capt. Erik Scott said on X. A staircase and a backyard were affected, he said.

"A large house is being built on the street above," he said. "The hillside gave way causing a debris flow across the street which took out a staircase, and landed into the backyard of the house below."

Yellow-tag status means residents will have limited access. City Department of Building and Safety personnel were at the scene, Scott said.

The two structures are each one address apart from a location that made Cielo Drive famous: the site of the Manson Family's Tate-LaBianca murders in 1969.

Weather service: No credible reports of tornado in San Diego

Imagery of a vortex in San Diego County circulated on social media as unstable air and thunderstorm activity triggered a tornado warning, but federal forecasters said there's no credible evidence of a touchdown.

The National Weather Service San Diego office has not fielded damage reports consistent with a tornado.

Today's rare noontime warning was the highest-level alert for tornadoes: It urges those in its coverage area to take cover immediately because a tornado has formed or is most likely imminent.

Despite whipping gusts of nearly 70 mph just east of the county and dark rain clouds, it appeared a tornado did not materialize. The front that prompted the warning moved east and broke up, according to NBC San Diego.

Upon reports of damage, the weather service will usually send observers to the scene of the report to determine whether there was a touchdown and, if so, the dimensions of its track and its potency. Often that takes place the next day.

Rare tornado warning for San Diego County expires; heavy rain and lightning still possible

A tornado warning issued in south central San Diego County has expired. The warning was rare for the southwestern county, reported NBC San Diego.

The warning was issued for parts of San Diego County, including Chula Vista, El Cajon and National City. It expired at 12:15 p.m. local time.

Rain continues to fall over San Diego, where radar data depicted a heavy rain cell, according to the National Weather Service. Lightning is also possible in the area.

Tornado warning issued for parts of San Diego County

The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for parts of San Diego County until 12:15 p.m. local time.

Chula Visa, El Cajon and National City are all within the warning area.

The warning includes the possibility of pea-sized hail.

Body found floating in water in San Diego

A body was found floating in water near Dairy Mart Road and Camino de la Plaza shopping center in San Diego today, according to the city's fire department.

"Engine 29 responded from South Bay as well as pre-positioned lifeguard teams," the San Diego Fire Department said in a news release. "The crews were able to recover the body and bring it to the boat launch area."

The victim, who has not been identified, was pronounced dead at the scene. It's not clear at this time what the cause of death was. The medical examiner's office will determine if the death is weather-related, the fire department said.

Three people have been killed so far by this storm system, which has brought heavy rains and winds to California.

Search effort continues after avalanche northwest of Las Vegas

The search effort continues after four people were rescued following an avalanche that took place at Lee Canyon, northwest of Las Vegas yesterday, according to officials. The avalanche was reported around 1:20 p.m. local time, according to the Lee Canyon Ski Resort.

Four people were initially reported missing and rescued by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, according to an update, but rescue efforts continue today “to ensure no one remains missing,” Clark County officials said on X.

"While all resort personnel and ticketed customers were accounted for following yesterday’s avalanche in an area above the Sherwood Lift, search and rescue teams plan to resume efforts later today with search dogs from Nevada Task Force 1 as a precaution to ensure no unreported person is missing," Clark County officials said today.

The Lee Canyon Ski Resort is closed today and may possibly be closed tomorrow, officials said. Lee Canyon Road and nearby Deer Creek Road remain closed Tuesday to everyone except residents, according to the Nevada Department of Transportation. Kyle Canyon Road is closed past the junction with Deer Creek Road.

Videos show cars trapped in Los Angeles mudslides

Video shows cars stuck in Los Angeles mudslides that hit neighborhoods in Beverly Hills.

Elsewhere in Los Angeles, mudslides were seen along Tigertail Road.

29 million people under flood alerts from California to Arizona

Around 29 million people remain under flood alerts from California to Arizona.

Eight million people are also under winter alerts across Arizona, and 1 million are under winter alerts across the western mountain ranges. 

While the intense rainfall is over for southern California today, on and off rounds of rain will still impact areas from Los Angeles to San Diego into this evening. At the same time, heavy rain and mountain snow will move into Arizona and the rest of the Four Corners region as this storm finally moves east.

One to 2 additional inches of rainfall could fall through tomorrow from Los Angeles to San Diego. Some major metro areas at risk for isolated instances of flash flooding today include Los Angeles, San Diego and Phoenix.

Tomorrow, unsettled conditions will continue across California, as rain and snow showers impact the Rockies.

As the storm continues east Thursday, it will blanket the northern Plains in snow and bring some rain and isolated storms to the Great Lakes and Midwest regions.

Los Angeles received more than half the average yearly rainfall in 3 days

Los Angeles has received more than half of their average yearly rainfall in three days.

As of this morning, the city has received 7.54 inches of rainfall in the past three days, more than half of the average of 14.25 inches it receives annually. Since Jan. 1, Los Angeles has picked up 10.77 inches of rain, which is 75% of their annual rainfall amassed just over one month into the year.

Los Angeles also received 7.03 inches of rain in two days, making it the first time in 66 years since it rained this much in the city over a two-day period. Records go back to 1877.

Water gushes down Lockridge Rd. during a storm Monday, Feb. 5, 2024, in Studio City in Los Angeles, Calif.
Water gushes down Lockridge Rd. on Monday in Studio City in Los Angeles.Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

Flood watch to remain for some areas until Tuesday afternoon

The flood watch covering much of Southern California will last until at least 4 p.m. PT (7 p.m. ET), the National Weather Service said, as up to an inch of rain an hour is expected.

Ventura County, southern Santa Barbara County and the Los Padres National Forest are all covered by the warning, which states that dangerous flooding will "increase the risk of drowning and the need for swift water rescues," as rivers and creeks overflow.

The weather serviceWS said the threat remains of mudslides in canyon areas while debris flow is possible in places with burn scars.

Map: 48 hours of rainfall in California

As much as 12.27 inches of rain has been reported over the past 48 hours in California, according to National Weather Service data.

Videos show downed trees and damage after strong California storms

Mudslides, floods and fallen trees: L.A. leaders spell out size of emergency response

Mudslides, debris flows, flash flooding, fallen trees and blocked roads are among the hazards that emergency services are continuing to deal with across the greater Los Angeles area.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass and city and county leaders gave an update on the city's and regional response last night, in a news conference at Fire Station 108 in Beverly Crest, in one of the city's worst-affected areas. "I have spent time with our fire chief meeting with Angelenos impacted by the storm. The city has leapt into action to protect our most vulnerable Angelenos and we will continue to work around the clock to help those in need throughout this storm," she said.

There have been 307 mudslides that have damaged 35 buildings and slopes since Sunday, while five buildings have been tagged red, meaning no entry, and seven have been tagged yellow, meaning residents can only collect possessions, authorities said. There have been 275 fallen trees, 159 reports of potholes and emergency workers have cleared 875 catch basins and storm drains.

The L.A. Fire Department has added additional teams to carry out water rescues, helicopter pilots and 911 dispatchers, adding to the 1,000 firefighters already on duty.

People stand near a garage that a landslide and flash flood smashed through in a hillside residential neighborhood in the Studio City section of Los Angeles, California, on February 5, 2024.
People stand near a garage smashed by a landslide yesterday in Los Angeles.David McNew / AFP - Getty Images

More than 150,000 energy customers in California still without power

Some 155,000 homes and businesses were still without power as of 3:30 a.m. PT, according to the website, which tracks energy connections nationally.

The worst affected areas are Mendocino County, where nearly 8,000 out of 53,000 customers are having outages, and Sonoma County, where nearly 20,000 out of 178,00 customers are without power.

The figures are much lower than Sunday night and Monday morning, when there were more than 700,000 outages.

Southern California hit by record-breaking rain

Records have been tumbling across the nation through this winter and the storm system hanging over California is no different.

At least six areas either set new records or matched old ones for daily precipitation, including Anaheim, which received 1.87 inches of rain yesterday, smashing the previous record of 0.56 inches set in 2019, according to the National Weather Service office in San Diego.

Oceanside Harbor was hit by 2.88 inches, dwarfing the 1.59 inches it received in 1948, while the city of Vista was inundated by 1.87 inches, compared to the 0.74 inches it got in 1976.

Los Angeles River surges

An aerial view of the Los Angeles River, swollen by storm runoff as a powerful long-duration atmospheric river storm continues to impact Southern California yesterday.

Southern California Hit By Second Atmospheric River
Mario Tama / Getty Images

Flood warning issued for area including Beverly Hills, Santa Monica

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for an area that includes the Los Angeles area cities of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood.

The warning is until 5 a.m. Tuesday. Other parts of the warning area include Santa Monica and Malibu. Officials warned earlier today that the ground is completely saturated and can’t handle any more rain.

“Doppler radar and automated rain gauges indicated light to moderate rain falling with embedded heavier showers across the warned area,” the weather service said.

Rainfall rates could be a half-inch per hour were expected at times throughout the night, and additional rain was forecast at 0.5 inches and 1.5 inches across the warning area. Also included in the area was Los Angeles’ famous Griffith Park.

Los Angeles firefighters hoist man from fast-moving river

Los Angeles firefighters used a helicopter to rescue a man who jumped into the flooded river to save his dog yesterday.