"Ready, set, here comes El Niño"

CALIFORNIA -- For the West Coast, the El Niño is both a blessing and a curse.

El Niño has already hit California's mountains. The latest snow-pack survey found five feet of snow in the Sierras, a welcome sight after four years of drought.

Southern California is now bracing for a series of storms.

El Nino's effects being felt around the world

"We're looking at about an inch to two inches of rain in the LA Basin," said John Rubenstein, a meteorologist at KCBS in Los Angeles. "And then right on its heels here's that third system that's moving in on Wednesday and the rain from that could linger all the way into Friday."

El Niño is an intense warming of the Pacific Ocean near the equator that changes weather patterns around the world. This is one of the largest on record.

"Ready, set, here comes El Niño," said Bill Patzert a NASA climatologist.

What should we anticipate happening?

"Here in Southern California six inches of rain in one week definitely guarantees some flooding, some mudslides -- especially below the burn areas," said Patzert.

Areas such as Venture, where a wildfire charred the hillsides just before Christmas. In Glendora, California, Eric Erby was stocking up on sandbags.

"Flooding could happen any time anywhere. It depends on how much, so either way I'm going to make sure I'm prepared for it," said Erby.

Los Angeles is designed to prevent flooding. That's why the Los Angeles River is encased in concrete right now -- it is just a pathetic little stream. Later this week the water in this channel will likely rise 10 to 20 feet.