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2 wet, windy storms forecast

It may not be white, but it’s likely to be a wet, cold and windy Christmas throughout most of Southern California.

Two fast-moving Arctic storms are heading south, with the first expected to arrive early Monday, followed by a possibly stronger system on Christmas Eve.

The wet weather is predicted to hit Northern California this morning, with snow in Mammoth and other regions of the Sierra. By noon Monday, skiers and snowboarders could be enjoying as much as a foot of fresh powder.

“It’s going to be a white Christmas in the mountains,” said James Oh, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in San Diego.

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The storms, however, were not expected to be as powerful as the one-two punch that doused Southern California last week, when heavy snowfall in the mountains forced the closure of three of the region’s major north-south transportation routes.

Monday’s storm is expected to be moderate, bringing gusty winds, about half an inch of rain along the coast and up to eight inches of snow in the San Bernardino Mountains, forecasters said.

The storm arriving Wednesday is expected to be stronger and could bring as much as an inch of precipitation, Oh said.

Motorists should keep an eye on road conditions if they plan to travel over mountain areas.

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The Monday storm is expected to dump rain -- not snow -- on the Grapevine, the stretch of Interstate 5 that connects Southern California with the Central Valley, said Stuart Seto, a weather specialist for the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

High temperatures on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are expected to be in the upper 50s throughout much of the region, about eight degrees below normal for this time of year, Seto said.

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ron.lin@latimes.com


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