SoCal Weather

SoCal Temperatures Tumble as a Late Winter Storm Brings Rain and Snow

Most of the rain is expected Wednesday afternoon. Snow is likely in Southern California's mountains.

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Rain, snow and cool temperatures are in the mid-week forecast as a weak late winter storm pushes into Southern California. 

The region has been basking in warm temperatures, but that changed Wednesday morning as temperatures dropped

“Today it’s going to be much cooler,” said NBC4 forecaster Belen De Leon. “It’s going to be cool across the board.

“It is sweater weather."

Temperatures were in the 70s to start the week, but some areas dipped into the 40s Wednesday morning. Temperatures in the 50s and 60s will be widespread Wednesday afternoon when the bulk of the rain is expected.

“The drive into work will be just fine, but as we head into the afternoon that rain band is going to set up right along the coast,” said De Leon. “As we head into the afternoon, the roads are going to be slippery.”

Rainfall totals will be less that one-quarter inch in most areas. More rain is possible in San Gabriel Mountain communities. 

Snow will be likely at elevations of about 5,000 feet.

Southeast winds will buffet the area, gusting to 40 mph in the mountains. A winter weather advisory will be in effect in the Los Angeles County mountains from 1 to 10 p.m. Wednesday. 

Expect 2 to 4 inches of snow and slippery road conditions.

The storm system will be short-lived, with conditions drying out for Thursday and Friday.

The rain comes near the end of what has been a dry winter. For only the eighth time in more than 140 years, no measurable rain fell in downtown Los Angeles during the month of February.

February is typically downtown's wettest month, averaging about 3.8 inches. Records for downtown Los Angeles date back to 1877.

California Snowpack Through the Years

California closed out its fifth straight month of below-normal precipitation, which is bad news for the critical snowpack in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The third manual snow survey of the season on Tuesday recorded 56 inches of snow depth and a snow water equivalent of 21 inches, which is 86 percent of average for the location at Philip’s Ranch Station in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. 

Snow water equivalent is the depth of water that theoretically would result if the entire snowpack melted instantaneously.

The manual surveys are conducted monthly through April and, if necessary, May. The department also uses electronic monitors to gauge California's water needs. Those stations indicate statewide  snowpack with a snow water equivalent of 15 inches, or 61 percent of the March 2 average, and 54 percent of the April 1 average. 

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