Los Angeles

Year-End Winter Storm Brings Scattered Rain Showers, Snow to Mountains

Most of the rainfall moved out of the region by midnight, NBC4 Meterologist David Biggar said.

Scattered rain showers rolled in Saturday as the second of two year-end storms moves through the region.

Showers were relatively light until the cold front arrives during the mid to late afternoon, which brought a line of heavier rainfall and possibly a rumble of thunder, according to NBC4 Meterologist David Biggar.

A quarter of an inch of rain or less was expected in lower elevations, while at least a half inch of rain was expected in foothill and mountain areas.

A flash flood watch was in effect for areas scorched by the Sand, Reservoir, Fish and Colby fires from Saturday at 3 p.m. until midnight.

The air will be cold enough to bring snow to the area mountains, noted Biggar. Snow will stay above 5,000 feet until the afternoon when we may see flakes down to 4,000 feet, which is low enough to reach the Grapevine.

About six to 10 inches of snow are expected in elevations above 6,000 feet, and less than six inches are expected below that elevation, Biggar said. 

A winter weather advisory will be in effect in the Ventura County Mountains from noon Saturday until 9 a.m. Sunday. A winter storm warning was also issued during that time frame for mountains in the Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

No wind advisories were immediately issued.

Snow and icy conditions are also expected on Interstate 15 through the Cajon Pass and mountain passes near the Nevada border Saturday, risking hazardous wintry driving conditions.

Most of the rainfall should move out of the region by midnight, but the chance of snow will continue.

Sunday is expected to be dry with a relatively clear start before an increase in cloud cover in the afternoon, Biggar said. Dry conditions and an increase in clouds are expected for the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl, which will be held on Monday in Pasadena.

Additional weak systems will swing by Southern California during the rest of the week, keeping temperatures cool.

Just as the recent strong El Nino ocean-warming phenomenon failed to bring rain to Southern California, the ocean-cooling known as La Nina hasn't lived up to expectations of drier than normal weather. Downtown Los Angeles has recorded 5.48 inches of rain since the Oct. 1 start of the water year -- nearly 2 inches above normal to date and more than five times more than had fallen by this time last year.

About 80 percent of California remains under drought, according to this week's Drought Monitor. The report released Thursday shows improvement over this time last year, when the entire state was under some level of drought.

About 18 percent of California, in its fifth year of drought, is under exceptional drought, the Monitor's most severe category. That figure was at nearly 45 percent at the end of last year.

Despite a stretch of dry days after Christmas, December has been one of LA's wettest months in years. Downtown LA has received 4 inches of rain in December, the most in any month since December 2010 and nearly twice its historical average.

David Biggar, Jonathan Lloyd, Jessica Rice and NBC4 wire services contributed to this report.

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