It figures to be a wet Christmas in parts of the Los Angeles area — and maybe a white one if you’re high enough up in the mountains.
An unsettled weather pattern is making its way toward the Southland and is expected to bring clouds Wednesday and rain starting Thursday, persisting intermittently — perhaps heavy at times — through the holiday weekend, according to the National Weather Service.
“Cloudy, mild and tranquil conditions will continue through Wednesday,” NWS forecasters said.
However, the weather service added, “weather conditions will change significantly on Thursday with rain increasing, especially late.”
“Heavy rainfall is expected after midnight Thursday night through Friday morning, associated with a moderate to strong atmospheric river,” according to the NWS.
While that storm is expected to exit the region by Friday evening, another weaker storm from the north will arrive on Christmas Day. That system should deliver more rain to SoCal — lighter than the first round, though still “moderate.”
Snow levels will be around 8,000 feet, but is expected to fall throughout the day Friday as colder air moves in from the northwest, according to the weather service.
In that colder air, snow could accumulate at 7,000 feet Friday and perhaps as low as 6,000 feet by Friday night.
A flood watch was issued Thursday night and Friday morning for coastal and inland Orange County.
The forecast came with the usual cautions for travelers.
“Moderate rain could create slick roads and travel delays along with high mountain snow accumulations and gusty winds,” forecasters said. “Additional rain and lowering snow levels could impact travel this holiday weekend.”
Daytime temperatures should be in the lower to mid-60s Wednesday, the upper 50s to mid-60s Thursday, the mid-50s to lower 60s Friday and the mid-50s to around 60 on Christmas Day.
The Angeles National Forest tweeted Wednesday that due to the upcoming rain and low snow levels, the following roads have been closed:
— 3N17 from BD to Mill Creek;
— 4N33 Moody;
— 4N37 Indian Canyon passable in 4×4 only;
— 4N24 Bear Trap;
— 7N23 Sawmill/Liebre area – 4×4 only;
— 7N08 Maxwell truck trail;
— 7N22 Knapp ranch large wash out.