Rain and snow forecast complicates Thanksgiving travel this week

Rain-soaked 101 traffic at a crawl
The 101 Freeway in the rain.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Heavy rain and snow are forecast to hit Southern California right around the time Thanksgiving travelers will take to the freeways.

A “broad swath of precipitation” is expected to blanket Los Angeles County and surrounding areas starting early Wednesday, said Kathy Hoxsie, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard. The heaviest rain and snow are predicted to fall on Wednesday from the morning to the afternoon.

“The absolute worst time, of course,” Hoxsie said.

Lighter showers are forecast for Thursday and Friday and could extend into the weekend. Rainfall estimates for this storm call for about 1 to 2 inches for the coast and valleys, and 1.5 to 3 inches for the foothills and at lower elevations of the mountains. A foot or more of snow is possible at higher elevations.


There’s a slight chance of thunderstorms on Thursday, which would mean brief pockets of heavy rain, Hoxsie said. If that happens, meteorologists will be watching burn areas closely, as sustained precipitation could cause mudslides.

“We don’t have any undue concern right now,” Hoxsie said.

In Northern California, rain is forecast to arrive on Tuesday afternoon and continue sporadically through Thursday, according to Steve Anderson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in San Francisco. Half an inch to an inch of rain is predicted in the Bay Area.

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