- Associated Press - Saturday, September 6, 2014

SAN DIEGO (AP) - The National Weather Service warned Southern Californians to watch out for weekend flash floods and strong surf because of a Pacific hurricane that is churning north up the Mexican coast.

Thunderstorms could form Saturday over inland mountains and deserts, and there was up to a 70 percent chance in some areas that they would hit Sunday.

“These storms will be capable of producing an inch or more of rain in a very short period of time. Maybe even 2 or 3 inches of rain in an hour,” said NWS meteorologist David Sweet.

As a result, the weather service issued a flash flood watch from Sunday morning through Monday morning in parts of San Diego, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Storms also were possible in mountains around the Los Angeles basin and into Ventura County.

Meanwhile, at the beach, waves could reach 8 feet high, particularly south-facing beaches that will directly get Hurricane Norbert’s sea swell. Coastal flooding and stronger rip currents also are possible.

On Saturday, a man drowned while taking an early-morning swim with friends off Redondo Beach, near Los Angeles.

Closer to the storm, on Mexico’s Baja California peninsula, rains and high surf damaged more than 1,000 homes and forced thousands of people to seek higher ground.

Norbert did not make landfall and weakened late Saturday afternoon, but still remained a powerful Category 2 storm with winds of up to 105 mph.

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