A cold Pacific storm hit the Southern California early Friday -- and that was just the beginning.
Forecasters are predicting more rain, thunderstorms, high winds and surf, along with additional snowfall in the San Gabriel Mountains.
The storm had already brought rain and snow to the mountains of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties early Friday, and then began doing the same in Los Angeles County.
Thunderstorms and small hail were expected in Los Angeles County, producing between 3/4 and 1 inch of rain in coastal and valley areas, and between 1 and 3 inches in the mountains before dry weather returns Saturday.
If you’re heading for the beach, be careful and avoid standing on rocks or jetties near the water's edge. The National Weather Service in Oxnard issued a high surf advisory from 5 p.m. Friday to 5 p.m. Sunday. Surf is set to build to 8 to 10 feet, with sets of up to 15 feet Saturday. The biggest waves will be seen along west- to northwest-facing beaches.
Forecasters are also looking out for waterspouts – tornadoes over the ocean. One was spotted Friday afternoon off the Orange County coast south of San Clemente, where it came ashore.
“That’s a general concern that we have, but we haven’t seen anything specifically yet. It’s general overall possibility,” said National Weather Service meteorologist David Sweet in Oxnard.
In local mountains, between eight and 14 inches of snow is expected to accumulate above 5,500 feet today, less at lower levels.
The snow level will fall to to 3,500 feet by Friday night.
Along with the snow, south-to-southwest winds of between 25 and 35 miles per hour will howl across mountain areas later today, gusting to 55 mph. Then, the wind is expected to start blowing from the northwest, gusting to 45 mph.
A winter storm warning indicating an expectation of heavy snow and hazardous conditions will be in effect in the Los Angeles and Ventura county portions of the San Gabriel mountains until 3 a.m. Saturday.
Forecasters said the storm, the second this week, also would churn up high winds at lower elevations.
A wind advisory was in effect from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. in Orange County. In the Inland Empire, a wind advisory is scheduled from 1 to 11 p.m. Friday.
Temperature highs were expected to climb to the low 60s Saturday. Because of the weather, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works closed public access to the following roadways in the Angeles National Forest late Thursday:
- Angeles Forest Highway from Aliso Canyon Road to Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Road;
- Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Road from Angeles Forest Highway to Angeles Crest Highway, also known as state Route 2.