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More rain follows after wettest November in years for parts of L.A. County

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A series of storms that hit southern California last month brought more rain to parts of Los Angeles County than residents had seen in the same month in almost a decade.

The storms, which arrived in the region at the end of November, poured 2.12 centimeters of precipitation into downtown Los Angeles – more rain than the area had seen since 2011 in that month, according to data from the National Weather Service. Long Beach was hammered last month with 2.86 centimeters of rainfall, while the Hollywood Burbank Airport received approximately 1.85 centimeters. Those areas had not seen much rain since 2011 since 2011, according to data.

The wet weather has pushed large swaths of Southern California above the normal amount of precipitation, while the central and northern parts of the state remain drier than normal for this time of year. More rain is on its way to Los Angeles County, but what that means for the winter of California in the long term is not yet certain.

The Southland saw a series of storms in November 2011, including a cold front similar to the one that hit California on Thanksgiving last week, rain poured over the state, and the mountains covered with snow. Although autumn was a promising start to the 2011-2012 water year – which runs from October to September – Los Angeles County saw a below-average rainfall that began in January of that year and continued throughout the season.

"We can start wet and then dry out or start dry and then see rain," said Tom Fisher, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Oxnard. "It doesn't produce a pattern for the entire winter."

What is clear is that there is more humid weather on the horizon this week.

An atmospheric river, swollen with subtropical moisture flowing in from the west, is expected to migrate to the southern part of the Central Coast and Los Angeles County at the end of Tuesday. The heaviest rain is expected to fall between 3 and 9 a.m. Wednesday, Fisher said.

"Just in time for the morning rush hour," he joked.

For a large part of the region, precipitation of 1 to 2 centimeters is expected, but the San Gabriel Mountains can see up to 3 centimeters of precipitation. Rainfall can exceed half an inch per hour in some areas, which according to the weather service can cause small mud and debris flows in recent incineration areas.

However, much of the southern part of the state will not see as much rain as areas farther north, predictors say. Satellite images of the atmospheric river show that the system has been directing a fire hose of moisture to Central California for the past two days with little movement.

Parts of Monterey County have been hit hardest by the storm so far. The front has dumped more than 16 inches of rain in Greenfield and more than 14 inches in Carmel Valley Village. Some cities farther north, in Sonoma County, also had a strong immersion. Almost 11 centimeters of rain fell on Guerneville, and Santa Rosa registered more than 5 centimeters on Monday, data shows.

This system is also considerably warmer than last week's storm, which dropped snow altitudes up to 1500 feet, covering mountain ranges and the Antelope Valley region, including Palmdale, with fresh powder. Snow levels with this storm are expected to be around 6,000 to 7,000 feet, but heavy rain and snow melt can cause mountain flooding, the weather service warned.

"We are currently monitoring the possibility of thunderstorms in the mountains," Fisher said. "Of course with thunderstorms, rainfall will be higher, so we'll see that tomorrow."

Thursday and Friday are likely to be dry before a weaker storm arrives in time for the weekend.

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