The first rains of the season will douse the Southland Wednesday amid a possibility of thunderstorms while winter weather conditions denoting horrendous travel challenges will descend on the San Gabriel Mountains and high surf pounds the coast, threatening the safety of swimmers and surfers.
The chance of showers will rise to 40 percent after 10 a.m., forecasters said.
Since the start of the rainy season on Oct 1. there have been only trace amounts of rain, but Wednesday’s storm could change things a bit, said NWS meteorologist Curt Kaplan.
In the mountains, a winter weather advisory went into effect at 7 a.m., expiring at 7 p.m. Thursday, with the snow level falling to 5,500 feet and up to 6 inches of snow expected to accumulate above 7,000 feet.
“Slow down and use caution while traveling,” urged an NWS statement.
Along the coast, sets of up to 8 feet are expected on west-facing beaches this evening, continuing through Thursday morning.
“There is an increased risk for ocean drowning,” warned an NWS statement. “Rip currents can pull swimmers and surfers out to sea. Large breaking waves can cause injury, wash people off beaches and rocks and capsize small boats near shore.
“…Swim near a lifeguard. If caught in a rip current, relax and float. Don’t swim against the current. If able, swim in a direction following the shoreline. If unable to escape, face the shore and call or wave for help.”
The NWS forecast showers in L.A. County Wednesday and the kind of temperatures Angelinos have not experienced in months — highs of 45 on Mount Wilson; 56 in Saugus and Lancaster; 58 in Saugus; 61 in Burbank and San Gabriel; 62 in Avalon and Pasadena; 64 in Downtown L.A., Long Beach, and Woodland Hills; and 65 at LAX. Temperatures will be about the same Thursday, then begin a slow warmup.
A combination of showers and thunderstorms were forecast in Orange County, where, in an unusual development, inland county temperatures in many cases were as low as along the coast or lower. Highs were 40 degrees on Santiago Peak; 49 on Ortega Highway at 2,600 feet; 55 in Fremont Canyon and Trabuco Canyon; 58 in Yorba Linda; 59 in Laguna Beach and San Clemente; 60 in Anaheim; 61 in Fullerton, Irvine and Newport Beach. Orange County temperatures will rise starting Thursday but not significantly until Saturday.
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