Today's sweater weather was a preview of what forecasters say could be the chilliest week of the year.
Beginning Tuesday, Southern California will be blasted by a storm front out of Canada, bringing with it a slight chance of rain and snow, said David Sweet, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.
Temperatures will begin dropping from the mid-60s on Monday to the upper- to mid-50s as the week progresses, Sweet said. The coldest day will be Wednesday -- New Year's Eve -- with the high reaching just 55 and a nighttime low of 37.
The National Weather Service forecasts a slight possibility of showers starting early Tuesday morning, with the greatest chance for precipitation, about 50%, coming through Tuesday night.
Precipitation will taper off during the day Wednesday.
Rainfall totals are likely to be a quarter-inch or less, Sweet said. But with the icy air mass, snow levels could drop to 2,000 feet, providing a light dusting over the Grapevine and Antelope Valley, forecasters say.
Bill Patzert, a climatologist with Jet Propulsion Lab, said the arctic system will put a chill in the air but likely won't spoil New Year's Eve parties or the New Year's Day Rose Parade in Pasadena.
"Pull out your parka and ear muffs for New Year's Eve,'' Patzert said. Rose Parade fans camping overnight on Colorado Avenue will "freeze their tuchas," he said, but New Year's Day should dawn clear and cold.
Temperatures will begin creeping back up on New Year's Day, to about 57, and continue warming slightly through the weekend, Patzert said. He reminded residents that even if small amounts of rain fall, the state of California remains in a drought from multiple years of below-average rainfall.
Strong storms in early December have put Los Angeles at 4.47 inches of rain since July 1, he said.
"That's nice, but we need a deluge from January to March to make a ding in the drought,'' he said.
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