The second wave of cold and unsettled weather hit Southern California early Wednesday, soaking roads ahead of a morning drive that included a big rig crash east of downtown Los Angeles.
Widely-scattered, generally light showers will generate amounts from a tenth of an inch to a half-inch of rainfall. The rain, generated by this weak storm's second pulse, will begin in earnest this afternoon but will be even weaker than the first wave.
In the San Gabriel Mountains, snow levels will fall to between 5,500 and 6,000 feet during the day. Between 2 and 5 inches of snow may fall above 6,500 feet.
Light rain began falling in Los Angeles County around Tuesday morning, with the storm's main band hitting around the afternoon.
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The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, meanwhile, issued a cold weather alert and warned residents in mountain areas to take precautions through Wednesday in anticipation of cold temperatures.
Health officials said windchill temperatures in those areas could dip to 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Residents are urged to dress in layers and wear hats and gloves, bring pets indoors at night, and never, ever use stoves, barbecues or ovens for heat.
Major traffic tie-ups were reported early Tuesday on rain-slicked roads. Between 4 a.m. and 9 a.m. Tuesday, the CHP received 62 reports of traffic collisions in Los Angeles County. That figure was 54 for the same time period one week ago, which conditions were dry.
A big rig jack-knifed on the 60 Freeway in Hacienda Heights, prompting the closure of the westbound 60 transition to the northbound 605 Freeway for several hours so Caltrans could make repairs to a damaged guardrail.
Thursday will be dry, but a second weather system is expected to produce rain in Los Angeles County and showers in Orange County on Saturday, the NWS said. That system could generate between a quarter-inch and a half-inch of rain.
The weather pattern is in sharp contrast to last week's stretch of hot days, which came at the end of one of California's wettest winters in years. This week's storms will not be anything like the strongest storms of winter, including a few soakers that eliminated drought conditions is some parts of California after five straight dry years.