The last of this week's Pacific storms is poised to strike SoCal Friday, bringing a chance of rain this morning, a virtual certainty of rain this afternoon and snow at relatively low elevations Saturday.
Rain takes a pause Saturday morning, and then the chance returns late Saturday afternoon and evening, NBC4 Meteorologist Shanna Mendiola said. Temperatures, meanwhile, will remain below normal through Sunday, then warm to normal levels through midweek next week.
A gradual warming and drying trend is expected Sunday through Tuesday, then another storm is forecast to affect the area next Wednesday through Friday.
In the meantime, scattered showers Saturday generally will produce between a quarter-inch and a half-inch of rain at lower elevations and between a half-inch and an inch in the mountains and foothills. The rain is expected to fall mostly at a rate of only a quarter inch per hour or less, but higher amounts are possible Saturday afternoon and evening if thunderstorms develop.
Over the San Gabriel Mountains, there will be a "very slim chance of a thunderstorm'' because of "a slightly unstable air mass and cold air aloft. And even if thunderstorms materialize, theoretically generating enough rain to trigger mud flows and rock slides over slopes that wildfires have stripped of vegetation, they should be moving fast enough to stave off any real risk. Flash flood watches were not issued.
Up in the mountains, snow is on the way. Snow levels drop to 3,500-5,000 ft tonight with 3-6” snow possible, Mendiola said. Driving conditions will be slick and visibility will be impacted Friday night through Saturday night.
Winter Weather Advisories will be in effect at 5 p.m. Friday night and last the entire weekend.
Interstate 5 over the Grapevine, Highway 2 and Highway 33 in Ventura County likely will be affected by snow.
Then, our active weather starts up again with the next storm forecast for Wednesday-Friday of next week. This storm could be much stronger in terms of rainfall and intensity, Mendiola said.
The forecast rain in L.A. County Friday and highs of 43 degrees on Mount Wilson; 55 in Lancaster; 56 in Palmdale; 57 in Saugus; 59 in Avalon, Burbank and San Gabriel; 60 in Pasadena; 61 in Woodland Hills and at LAX; and 62 in Long Beach and Downtown LA. Temperatures will be a degree or two colder Saturday amid partly cloudy skies, although showers are forecast in Saugus and snow showers on Mount Wilson. Then, on Sunday, temperatures will climb two or three degrees, still amid partly cloudy skies, then rise by five or six degrees on Monday abd by another two degrees or so Tuesday. Temperatures will remain in the low 70s Wednesday despite the return of the rain, which is also forecast Thursday.
Partly and mostly cloudy skies were forecast in Orange County, along with highs of 58 in San Clemente; 61 in Newport Beach; 62 in Laguna Beach and Mission Viejo; 63 in Yorba Linda, Fullerton and Irvine; and 64 in Anaheim. No rain is forecast in Orange County until Thursday. Until then, Orange County highs will remain in the low to mid 60s.
The expected rainfall totals resulting from SoCal's three storms this week will be .93 inch in Beverly Hills and 2.6 inch in downtown LA.
For the month, downtown has had 1.38 inches, which is within .09 inch of normal, he said. But for the season so far -- from Oct. 1 to last night -- the figure is a dismal 3.30 inches, compared to the normal, which is 12.42 inches.