A storm system pushed its way toward the Southland Tuesday, promising three days of rain, cold wind and as much as 24 inches of snow in higher elevations in the San Gabriel Mountains.

A winter storm warning signifying the expectation of highly challenging travel conditions will be in force from 4 a.m. Wednesday to 4 a.m. Friday in the San Gabriels.

Along with the 24 inches of snow accumulation at high elevations, most areas of the San Gabriels should get 6-12 inches while 3-6 inches is expected at the Grapevine, which should make travel difficult on the Golden State (5) Freeway.

“Travel could be very difficult to impossible,” according to a National Weather Service statement. “The hazardous conditions could result in temporary road closures. Gusty winds could bring down tree branches. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.”

The rest of the area can expect a good dousing of rain beginning after midnight Wednesday morning in some areas and continuing until Friday. According to the NWS, coastal and valley areas could see 1 to 2 inches of rain, while mountains and foothills could receive 2 to 4 inches.

According to the NWS, the heaviest rain is likely to occur in a roughly three-hour period Wednesday morning, accompanied by south to southwest winds that could reach 50 to 60 mph in the mountains.

A wind advisory will be in effect from 1 a.m. to noon Wednesday in the Antelope Valley, where sustained winds of 25 to 35 mph are expected, along with gusts up to 60 mph. The advisory will be in effect during the same hours in the Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area and Santa Clarita Valley, where forecasters are predicting winds of 15 to 30 mph, with gusts up to 45 mph.

Forecasters also warned of possible flash flooding or debris flows in recent burn areas, but as of Tuesday afternoon, the threat had not reached levels that would trigger a flash flood watch in Los Angeles County.

“The front is expected to exit L.A. County just before noon Wednesday, followed by some stiff westerly breezes and maybe even some sunshine before a secondary impulse comes in Wednesday night into Thursday morning,” according to the NWS.

That secondary front will be colder, but not as wet, although it will still have the potential for some heavy downpours or even small hail in some areas.

“Antelope Valley foothills will likely see a few inches of snow and possibly even a dusting down to the valley floor,” according to the NWS. “Showers with possible thunderstorms will continue through Thanksgiving evening before decreasing in … intensity Thursday night into Friday.”

A small craft advisory will be in effect from 3 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, meaning that inexperienced mariners, especially those operating smaller vessels, should avoid navigating in these conditions.

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