Showers dampened parts of the Southland Wednesday as a cold storm moved toward the area, promising more rain, snow and gusty winds late Friday and on Christmas Eve and threatening to unleash mud and debris down slopes stripped bare by wildfires.
“Moderate to heavy rainfall Friday night into early Saturday will bring a risk of urban roadway flooding, and mud and debris flows within recent burn areas,” according to the National Weather Service. “This cold storm will bring the potential for rapidly lowering snow levels, with gusty winds and showers likely to persist through Saturday afternoon.”
Ahead of the storm, moisture filtering from the south generated some showers Wednesday afternoon, with more possible overnight.
In contrast, the approaching storm is working its way down the coast toward the Southland from the Gulf of Alaska in the northwest, according to NWS meteorologist Rich Thompson. He added that in the Southland it could produce between a half-inch and an inch of rain in coastal and valley areas and two inches in the mountains.
Thompson said that as of Wednesday morning, the end-of-the-week storm seems likely to generate “steady rain. Nothing too intense.”
In the mountains, the snow level is expected to start at between 7,500 and 8,000 feet Friday night, then drop to between 4,000 and 5,000 feet Saturday morning, with 6-12 inches of snow expected to accumulate above 6,000 feet, Thompson said.
“…There will be a chance of winter driving conditions over mountain passes, including the Interstate 5 Corridor near the Grapevine, with slick roads and low visibility in blowing snow,” according to an NWS statement.
The NWS forecast showers in L.A County Wednesday and highs of 62 in Lancaster; 63 in Palmdale; 68 in Avalon and on Mount Wilson; 71 in Long Beach, Saugus and at LAX; 72 in downtown L.A. and Pasadena; 73 in San Gabriel and Burbank; and 74 in Woodland Hills. Showers and just about the same temperatures were forecast Thursday, followed by partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the low to mid 60s Friday and the same temperatures amid rain Saturday, followed by a partly cloudy Christmas Day and more temperatures in the low 60s.
Showers were also in Orange County’s forecast, along with highs of 67 in San Clemente and Laguna Beach; 68 in Newport Beach; 70 in Yorba Linda, Fullerton and Anaheim; 71 in Mission Viejo; and 72 in Irvine. Orange County highs will be a few degrees lower under partly cloudy skies Thursday, a few degrees below that on Friday, again under partly cloudy skies, then in the 50s amid rain on Saturday, giving way to a sunny Christmas Day, also in the 50s.
A record-low temperature was set Tuesday for a December 19, when the thermometer fell to 10 degrees in Lancaster, breaking the record of 13 set in 2012.