Prolonged dry spell to aid mudslide cleanup efforts in Southern California

By Renee Duff, AccuWeather meteorologist
January 13, 2018, 12:19:48 PM EST

After deadly mudslides tore through homes and businesses in Southern California, a drier pattern will assist cleanup efforts through at least the first half of next week.

“A welcome dry period will continue in Southern California,” according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Faith Eherts.

As property owners assess damage, roads are cleared of debris and residents begin the long road to recovery, the lengthy dry spell comes at a time when it is needed the most.

CA Mudslides AP

A firefighter stands on the roof of a house submerged in mud and rocks Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Montecito, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

At least 18 people died on Tuesday after torrential rain fell over burn scar areas and sent a torrent of mud down the hillsides.

While marring the landscape with mud and debris, the rain put an end to the region’s wildfire season.

An area of high pressure will reside over the region through the weekend, promoting dry and unseasonably warm conditions. High temperatures will be in the lower 80s F inland of the coast, including in Burbank and Downtown Los Angeles.

To avoid dehydration, plenty of water will be needed for those cleaning up the debris. However, it will be vital to ensure the water is safe to drink beforehand.

Dry CA Jan 13

The dry and mild conditions will expand northward into the Pacific Northwest for Sunday.

A pattern change will arrive on the West Coast late Monday and Tuesday of next week. However, the track of this storm and its associated wet weather will remain well north of Southern California, generally from the San Francisco Bay Area northward to Seattle and British Columbia.

The biggest effect from the storm farther south into the hardest hit mudslide areas will be to drop temperatures down to more seasonable levels.

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During the latter half of January, multiple Pacific storms moving into the West will send some rain mainly from the Pacific Northwest into Northern California, but some showers penetrating Southern California are not out of the question, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Steve Travis.

One such storm will press ashore late next week, possibly bringing clouds and showers as far south as Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and San Diego.

Another storm may bring an opportunity for rain next weekend into the fourth week of January.

While neither storm looks to be as intense as the destructive storm this past week, any rainfall could slow the recovery process and trigger additional runoff.

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