A cold winter storm will dust area mountains with several inches of snow and bring much-needed rain to Los Angeles County this weekend.
Showers could start as early as Friday afternoon, when there's a 30% chance it could rain in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, according to the National Weather Service. By Saturday night, forecasters say the chance of rain will increase to 80%.
"We need all the rain we can get," said meteorologist Stuart Seto with the weather service in Oxnard.
The heaviest rainfall will begin Saturday afternoon and continue through Tuesday afternoon, bringing up to 12 inches of snow in mountain communities above 5,500 feet.
The low-pressure system will move south from Washington into California and could bring up to half an inch of rain inland and as much as an inch of rain in the mountains. Snow levels will also fall to 3,500 feet by Sunday.
Blowing snow, dense fog and icy conditions could make the 5 Freeway corridor and Highway 14 treacherous for motorists, he said. The California Department of Transportation advised drivers to carry chains to get through Tejon Pass.
"It's going to be a pretty active weekend," Seto said.
This weekend's storm will likely bring more rain than Sunday's downpour, which dumped 0.70 inches of rain in downtown Los Angeles.
Thunderstorms are possible and could trigger debris flows in communities recently scorched by fire.