Light Rain Continues Ahead of Wind, Snow

Expect snow in mountain areas as the Southern California weather system pushes east

The light rain that soaked Los Angeles' freeways Thursday morning will continue across Southern California before a night of snow and gusty winds in the San Gabriel Mountains.

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The storm system entered the region Wednesday night, bringing showers to some areas. Light to moderate showers were reported early Thursday. Authorities responded to several spinouts and crashes, including fatal collisions in Pasadena and Santa Ana. A big rig crashed through the center divider on the 5 Freeway near the 134 Freeway early Thursday.

Power outages affected some areas. The Department of Water and Power reported that 12,000 of the agency's 1.4 million customers were without power just before noon. Power was restored to about 6,000 customers since the storm began.

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Most areas should receive less than a half-inch of rain, but an inch is possible in mountains and foothills.

"That moisture will push inland," said meteorologist Crystal Egger. "That translate to a lot of mountain snow."

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A winter weather advisory -- expect snow and strong winds -- is in effect for parts of the San Gabriel Mountains from 6 p.m. Thursday to noon Saturday. Between four and eight inches of snow are expected, with up to 12 inches  likely on higher peaks and the heaviest snowfall expected Thursday evening into Friday morning.

"The combination of gusty winds and snow will result in dangerous  driving conditions due to blowing and drifting snow and near-zero visibility at  times," according to the National Weather Service advisory. "The higher portions of the Angeles Crest  Highway, Highway 2 and surrounding roads will be most vulnerable to these conditions."

The snow level could drop to between 6,000 and 6,500 feet Thursday.

Winds will increase throughout the day with sustained speeds around 30 mph and 55-mph wind gusts over passes and canyons, according to the Weather Service.

In Riverside County, a winter storm warning will go into effect at 4 p.m. for mountain areas above 5,000 feet. The warning means severe winter weather conditions are  expected or occurring

The rain runoff prompted a health warning for Los Angeles County beaches.  County health officials issued a beach advisory, warning that bacteria,  debris, trash and other health hazards from city streets and mountain areas can  enter the ocean from the storm drains and rivers draining into the water.

The county's advisory will remain in effect until 8:30 a.m. Sunday,  although it may be extended depending on the weather.

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