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California

A wet Christmas in L.A.? New rainstorm takes aim at Southern California

With palm trees in the foreground, an image of the L.A. skyline is obscured by low-hanging clouds.
Low-hanging clouds blanket downtown L.A. as seen above Ela Park in Lincoln Heights on Dec. 4.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

Southern California endured a Thanksgiving of heavy rain and snow.

How does Christmas look? A new storm is coming our way just in time for the holiday week. Here is what we know.

The forecast

The first of two storm systems to hit the West Coast from the Gulf of Alaska is expected to arrive in Los Angeles on Sunday — just in time for the first day of winter — and linger through Monday. That storm is predicted to dump half an inch to an inch of rain across the Southland, said Andrew Rorke, a senior forecaster with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

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The rain is expected to let up slightly Christmas Eve, but there’s a chance of showers during the day as another system, also from the Gulf of Alaska, moves into the region, Rorke said.

Rain on Christmas?

That is still an open question.

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“There is still quite a bit of uncertainty with the Christmas forecast. Right now, it’s looking like the Christmas morning will be dry, with an increasing chance of rain in the afternoon and at night,” he said.

Snow levels

Snow levels Sunday and Monday are expected to hover about 6,000 feet before dropping to 5,000 feet midweek. The weekend storm is expected to provide 3 to 6 inches of fresh powder in the Southern California mountains by early Monday.

Thankfully, forecasters say, the snow levels will remain high enough that Santa and any holiday travelers shouldn’t have trouble getting through the Grapevine during the holiday rush.


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