A winter storm began bringing rain and cooler temperatures to Southern California on Saturday, with showers expected off and on through Monday, the National Weather Service said.
Light rain began falling this afternoon in Santa Barbara, Simi Valley and Santa Clarita, said meteorologist Curt Kaplan. The storm, with temperatures in the mid-60s, could bring gusty winds and possibly even thunderstorms and hail, forecasters said. At around 2:20 p.m., another band of rain was moving into the Westside, bringing some thunder.
"It's going to be hit and miss -- much more a showery event than four to six hours of straight rain," Kaplan said.
The storm is expected to add less than half an inch to the season's rainfall totals in downtown Los Angeles and somewhat more in the foothills, so it won't do much to ease the three-year drought conditions in the state.
Ski resort operators in the San Gabriel Mountains will have reason to rejoice in the storm. Snow levels are expected to drop to 3,500 feet, with some six to 10 inches of fresh snow predicted, Kaplan said. That also means winter road conditions -- including possible snow and ice on the Grapevine.
Rain is expected to continue overnight, with some break in the clouds likely Sunday morning, then look for more rain, with thunderstorms and possible small hail, again in the afternoon.
Forecasters predict a second, weaker storm system will move in on Monday, possibly lasting until the following day.