Scattered showers briefly return to Southern California ahead of a cool, dry week

A pedestrian crossing a street in downtown Los Angeles is silhouetted against the snow-capped San Gabriel Mountains.
A pedestrian, crossing a street in downtown Los Angeles, is silhouetted against the snow-capped San Gabriel Mountains.
(Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times)

As storm systems continue to sweep across Northern California, the Southland will be getting a bit of a reprieve. The gray skies Sunday will bring a light rain, less than one-tenth of an inch, and the week ahead will be mostly dry and slightly warmer.

Calling it a “nuisance rain,” Mike Wofford, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard, sees showers diminishing by afternoon. Snow levels — less than an inch in the mountains — are expected to drop to 4,000 feet.

“We’re getting the fringes of a storm system centered to the north,” Wofford said. But “that should be the end of it.”


With communities in the San Bernardino Mountains still buried by snow and facing a critical shortage of supplies, the forecast for the days ahead — blue skies, white clouds, highs in the low 60s — should come as a relief, and while there is a chance of rain next weekend, “we’re not saying a whole lot about it,” said Wofford. The models are still uncertain.

Farther north, the forecast calls for more snow in the Sierra Nevada. The UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Laboratory is anticipating 2 to 4 feet more through Monday and the week ahead. The lab is reporting a season total of almost 47 feet, which is within a foot of the 2016-2017 snow season.

The return of familiar winter weather patterns is a relief to drought-parched California. The recent succession sequence of storms originated in the Gulf of Alaska, riding down the West Coast.

Wofford is reluctant to predict what lies ahead in March and April as winter turns to spring. “There is some indication that we will see heavier precipitation down the road,” he said, “but we’re focused on the short term.”