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Rain likely to miss Los Angeles County as wimpy winter storm creeps along the coast

A crew sets up for the Rose Parade in Pasadena
A crew sets up for the Rose Parade in Pasadena, where a winter storm that was suppose to hit the Southland will instead just be a glancing blow.
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

A winter storm that forecasters had predicted would bring widespread showers and snow to Southern California on Monday isn’t going to pack much of a precipitation punch after all.

The storm, which has been making its way down the coast over the last 24 hours, appears to be staying over the ocean, meaning that significant rain and snow likely won’t make their way onto land in Los Angeles County. There’s still a 20% chance of scattered showers in the region, but measurable rainfall is not expected, said Joe Sirard, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

“At first it looked like it was going to be a significant event similar to the storm on Christmas night, but the models kept pushing the storm off the coast,” he said. “Any rain we get is going to be very light and won’t amount to much.”

Winter weather advisories that were in place for Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties were canceled early Monday after radar showed less than 2 inches of snow at elevations above 5,000 feet. Interstate 5 at the Grapevine, which authorities shut down for roughly 36 hours last week amid heavy snow, received only a light dusting of powder early Monday, and what fell did not stick so traffic wasn’t affected.

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Gusty conditions in the forecast prompted the weather service early Monday to issue a wind advisory for the mountains of Los Angeles and Ventura counties, warning of 20 to 30 mph winds with gusts up to 50 mph from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday. Forecasters warn that the winds could toss around unsecured objects and make driving difficult, especially for high-profile vehicles. Tree limbs also could be blown down, knocking out power lines and resulting in outages, according to the weather service.

Those winds also are helping lessen Monday’s chance of rain. Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo received light rain Sunday and early Monday, but that precipitation has begun to dwindle, Sirard said.

Temperatures, which have lingered about 10 degrees below normal for this time of year, are expected to rise to the mid- to high 60s over the next several days. New Year’s Day will start off chilly — with temperatures in the high 30s — before reaching the mid-60s by the afternoon.

“It’s going to be good parade weather and good football weather,” Sirard said.

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By Friday, temperatures in Los Angeles should reach a toasty 70 degrees, forecasters say.


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