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L.A. ‘in for a big change,’ could see first rain of season as temperatures dive

Blanca Torres walks in the rain in downtown Los Angeles in May.
Blanca Torres walks in the rain in downtown Los Angeles in May. Parts of L.A. County could see rain this weekend for the first time in months.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Following the election, even the weather is polarized these days.

Dry and warmer-than-normal temperatures across Southern California will make way for a notable cooldown this weekend that may include rain, gusty winds and mountain snow, the National Weather Service reported.

Following an unseasonable warm day Thursday — with temperatures in the 80s and 90s in some inland areas — a low-pressure system is expected to move from the Pacific Northwest into California on Friday, followed by a second system over the weekend.

“Tomorrow we’re in for a big change,” said Kristen Stewart, a weather service meteorologist in Oxnard.

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Parts of Los Angeles County could see rain for the first time in months, and temperatures will dive into the 60s by Saturday, Stewart said.

Rain could arrive Friday and stay into Saturday, with a slight chance of showers Sunday, according to Stewart.

Downtown L.A. and nearby areas could see up to a quarter-inch of rain, said Stewart, who described the coming weather system as “the first rain event of the season.”

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The storm could also bring fresh snow to higher elevations. Southern California’s mountains are expected to see snowfall above 5,000 feet, Stewart said. The California Department of Transportation will require motorists to use chains on their tires in mountainous areas.

Elsewhere, the same system is predicted to bring a foot of snow to the Lake Tahoe region as it sweeps into the Sierra Nevada. The area has been experiencing record or near-record high temperatures for the past week.

The about-face comes after weeks of punishing heat and dry winds that have sparked destructive wildfires up and down the state.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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