LOS ANGELES (CNS) - High surf will again pound the Southland coast today, and rip currents will threaten swimmers and surfers while winter weather conditions linger in the San Gabriel Mountains, thanks to the first snow of the season.
The storm that slid into the Southland Wednesday has largely departed and is traveling across the region's eastern desert early this morning, having dropped between a quarter-inch and three-quarters of an inch of rain in L.A. County Wednesday, including 63 hundredths of an inch in downtown L.A., said NWS meteorologist Rich Thompson in a telephone interview from his monitoring station in Oxnard in Ventura County. He said, though, that there is still a slight chance of scattered showers through this afternoon and evening on what he expects will be an “unsettled sort of day.”
At the L.A. County coast, surf of between 4 and 7 feet is expected through this morning at west-facing beaches, according to the National Weather Service.
“There is an increased risk for ocean drowning,” warned an NWS statement. “Rip currents can pull swimmers and surfers out to sea. Large breaking waves can cause injury, wash people off beaches and rocks, and capsize small boats near shore.
“Swim near a lifeguard. If caught in a rip current, relax and float. Don't swim against the current. If able, swim in a direction following the shoreline. If unable to escape, face the shore and call or wave for help.”
In Orange County, a less serious beach hazards statement was in effect this morning, with forecasters expecting surf of 3 to 6 feet. Dangerous swimming conditions were also forecast in Orange County.
“A beach hazards statement is issued when threats such as strong rip currents, elevated surf heights, minor tidal overflow or lightning are possible at local beaches,” warned a statement issued by the NWS in San Diego. “Obey posted warning signs and flags and talk to a lifeguard before swimming. Use caution when in or near the water and always swim near a lifeguard.”
In the San Gabriels, the first snowfall of the season is expected to continue into this morning, according to NWS forecasters. The winter weather advisory issued by the NWS Wednesday will remain in effect until 7 tonight.
Snow levels will be around 5,500 to 6,000 feet through today, with an additional couple of inches of snow possible, especially in the eastern San Gabriel Mountains, according to an NWS statement, which said snow showers would continue between 5,500 and 6,000 feet.
Accumulation of 8 inches of snow, including Wednesday's snowfall, is possible, forecasters said.
“Slow down and use caution while traveling,” urged the statement.
In L.A. County, highs today will range from 48 degrees on Mount Wilson to 66 in Downtown L.A. and Woodland Hills.
The NWS forecast partly cloudy skies in Orange County today, along with highs of 42 on Santiago Peak; 52 on Ortega Highway at 2,600 feet; 59 in Treabuco Canyon; 60 at Fremont Canyon; 62 in Laguna Beach and San Clemente; 63 in Newport Beach, Yorba Linda and Mission Viejo; and 66 in Fullerton and Anaheim. Amid partly cloudy skies, Orange County temperatures will be up to 10 degrees higher Friday and up to another 5 degrees higher on Saturday.
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