Cooler temperatures, light rain expected to return to Los Angeles area this week, forecasters say

Beachgoers near the Santa Monica Pier.
Southern California is expected to see light rain return to the region beginning Wednesday, forecasters said.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Cooler temperatures and light rain could return to the Los Angeles area as early as Wednesday, with heavier rain expected by the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

A new storm system coming down from Canada would bring “the coldest temperatures of the year if it was fully realized,” said David Sweet, a meteorologist with the weather service in Oxnard. Temperatures could range from the lower 30s in some areas, with highs in the lower 50s, he said.

If the storm lives up to its potential, even downtown L.A. could experience temperatures in the upper 30s, Sweet said.


But it’s still too early to say how significant this storm’s impact will be, he cautioned.

“There is a fair amount of uncertainty as to the direct path it’s going to take,” Sweet said. “Some guidance shows it’s moving offshore and maybe off our coast by a fair distance, thereby having less impact; other guidance is showing it moving down straight over us and having a greater impact.”

Sweet said there’s a greater than 20% chance that the region could see more than an inch of rain during this time, and a greater than 40% chance of more than an inch of rain in the mountains.

Still, forecasters are expecting about half an inch of rain “with a very cold air accompanying the system.” Snow levels are expected to drop to about 1,500 feet, meaning the snow could reach the foothills and valleys including places like Antelope Valley and San Luis Obispo County. Sweet said while only a few inches of snow is expected, it could be spread over a wide area.

Sweet advised area residents to have warm coats at the ready, and to be prepared for wintry driving conditions including poor visibility and slippery roads, particularly in mountain areas. He also suggested drivers keep water and blankets in their cars in case they get stranded.

He also noted that people driving through the rain this week should be cautious of slippery roads and give themselves ample time to get to their destination.