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Presidents Day weekend weather: L.A. will largely dodge rain, but more snow to hit Tahoe

Snow and fog in the mountains
The winter storm that hit the Sierra Nevada Thursday dumped between 8 and 16 inches between 7,000 and 9,000 feet.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles area will be spared heavy rain this holiday weekend while the winter storm system moving across California is expected to dump more snow in the Sierra Nevada, potentially clogging roads as skiers make their way through the mountains.

Rain sprinkled across L.A. County on Friday morning with most areas receiving less than a tenth of an inch, according to Kathy Hoxsie, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

“Most of the rain is in L.A. County and moving right along,” said Hoxsie.

Some areas got slightly more.

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In Pasadena and Van Nuys, 0.12 inches of rain fell, while 0.2 inches fell on Palmdale by 9 a.m. Friday. The light showers are expected to be gone by the afternoon.

“We’ll probably get light sprinkles for most of the morning,” Hoxsie said.

Rain is not expected during the day Saturday as initially forecast. Light rain could fall in the mountains, however. Less than an inch of snow above 4,000 feet is also possible.

A wind advisory is in effect for a large swath of Los Angeles County until 9 p.m. Friday. Wind gusts could get up to 40 mph. in the Santa Clarita Valley and mountain areas. A wind advisory is also in effect for the Antelope Valley until 3 a.m. Saturday. Gusts could get up to 50 mph.

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A high wind watch will go into effect for this region starting Saturday afternoon with gusts potentially reaching 60 mph. High wind watches will go into effect for many Los Angeles mountains late Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning.

Coastal winds strong enough to capsize boats are a possibility this weekend, according to the weather service. Gale-force winds up to 40 knots across outer waters will be strongest Saturday night.

Meanwhile, the winter storm that hit the Sierra Nevada on Thursday dumped between 8 and 16 inches of snow between 7,000 and 9,000 feet, according to Mark Deutschendorf, a meteorologist at the weather service in Reno. Mammoth Mountain got 18 inches of snow at 11,000 feet. Lake Tahoe received between 4 and 8 inches of snow.

The area will have a break from the storm Friday, giving great weather for skiers. Another “quick-moving weather system” will hit Saturday morning and last much of the day, according to Deutschendorf.

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Lake Tahoe is expected to get between 2 and 6 inches of snow. Up to 12 inches of snow could fall above 7,000 feet in the Sierra Nevada.

“Anyone planning to travel should make sure their cars winter-ready,” said Deutschendorf. “Even though it’s not a blockbuster snow event, people should be prepared for delayed traffic.”

“It’s going to be a busy weekend.”


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