Light Rain Dampens Morning Commute, Previewing Larger Storm Next Week

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A cold front moved into the Southland overnight, dropping light rain across much of the region and creating a wet commute for many motorists, but the precipitation is expected to taper off by day’s end.

But more unstable weather is on the horizon.

Forecasters warned that “cool daytime highs and chilly overnight lows” will persist through the weekend, ahead of a “powerful storm system” that will hit the area on Monday and Tuesday, bringing heavy rain to much of the area and snow in the mountains.

By mid-morning Thursday, the weak cold front that arrived overnight had dropped small amounts of rain in many areas, most of which saw less than a quarter-inch, according to the National Weather Service. Snow levels fell to about 6,000 feet, with higher elevations receiving several inches of rain.

Forecasters said light snow could still fall Thursday evening in the northern reaches of the county near the Kern County line, “but no accumulation (is) expected on Interstate 5 over the Grapevine.”

Due to the wet weather, the county Department of Public Health issued a standard advisory warning people not to enter the ocean water near discharging storm drains, creeks and rivers due to bacteria or other harmful material that can be carried to the coast by stormwater. The warning will remain in place until at least 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

Rainfall largely tapered off by Thursday evening. A wind advisory, however, will remain in effect until 3 a.m. Friday in the Los Angeles County Mountains, excluding the Santa Monica range, with sustained winds of 20 to 35 mph expected, along with gusts up to 50 mph. A wind advisory will be in effect until 9 p.m. Thursday in the Antelope Valley, where similar wind speeds are anticipated.

The weak system, however, was being described as a mere preview of what’s to come Monday and Tuesday, when “the most significant storm of the season will move through,” according to the NWS.

Forecasters said that system could drop up to 3 inches of rain along the coast and in the valleys, and up to 5 inches in the mountains and foothills.

“Peak rainfall rates will be near and could exceed debris flow thresholds for the recent burn areas,” according to the NWS.

The storm will also drop “a couple feet of snow” above 7,000 feet. Forecasters were still uncertain how much, if any, snow will fall at lower elevations.

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