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Rain and snow sneaking across California in ‘inside slider’ storm

Traffic on the 5 Freeway during Thanksgiving storm
Traffic backs up along the northbound 5 Freeway after the Grapevine was closed Thanksgiving morning amid heavy snow. A new storm this weekend could drop snow levels to 3,500 feet.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

A new storm is tiptoeing across California this weekend, bringing a slight chance of rain and snow to Southern California and light showers to the northern part of the state.

Commuters woke up Friday to dense fog, with visibility at or below a quarter-mile in many portions of the state. As the morning progresses, that fog will dissipate and make way for the rain, according to the National Weather Service.

The northern part of the San Francisco Bay Area will see the most precipitation over the next day, with other areas receiving only small amounts of rain. By 8 a.m. Friday, some parts of northern Sonoma County had reported “a hundredth [of an inch] here and there,” according to the weather service.

The low-pressure system, which the weather service is calling an “inside slider,” could bring small amounts of rain to northern San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, as well as the mountains of Los Angeles and Ventura counties Friday night into Sunday morning, said National Weather Service meteorologist Lisa Phillips, who is based in Oxnard.

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“We didn’t calculate totals for that because it’s such a small amount,” Phillips said.

The front is also expected to lower temperatures, which rose into the 70s this week. Snow levels could dip as low as 3,500 feet, with up to 2 inches of powder in the mountains of Southern California, including the Grapevine. A storm over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend briefly closed the 5 Freeway corridor, and officials say this weekend’s weather could affect travel in the area, warning of “wintry driving conditions.”

“While precipitation totals in the mountains are not expected to be excessive, snow could cause some travel problems on portions of Interstate 5,” the weather service said.

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Another storm is on the horizon for Wednesday, though forecasters say it’s still too early to tell how strong it will be.

Soaking rains have reduced the portion of California deemed to be abnormally dry to just 3.6%


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