Cold Alaskan Storm Expected Tonight

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A cold storm out of the Gulf of Alaska will roll into the Southland tonight, but as of this morning, it appears its greatest impact will be in the mountains, forecaster said.

The snow level will be at 4,500 feet today, then lower to 2,500-3,000 feet tonight and Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. It said an accumulation of 4-7 inches of snow is expected above 6,000 feet, and 1-2 inches will accumulate across The Grapevine, meaning snow is likely on the Interstate 5 corridor.

Forecasters also warned that the Antelope Valley foothills will receive a dusting, along with Pearlblossom (38) Highway.

Also expected Wednesday are strong wind gusts -- 45 miles per hour, diminishing to 40 mph on Thursday.

The weather service warned that the storm may cause road closures and travel delays, strong crosswinds, low visibility in blowing snow, and icy roads.

Forecasters said the conditions would affect Highway 33 in Ventura County, Interstate 5 through The Grapevine and L.A. County's Antelope Valley (14) Freeway and Pearlblossom (138) Highway.

There were few weather warnings today stemming from the approaching storm, except a small craft advisory that will be in effect from 3 this afternoon until 9 this evening. It serves to warn novice sailors to stay out of the water, especially in small vessels, for which conditions will be hazardous.

The storm was in Northern California this morning, according to NWS meteorologist Todd Hall. Once it moves south, it will manifest itself mainly in the mountains, and “most of L.A won't see anything” other than “a few showers” adding up to perhaps a quarter-inch of rain, he said.

As if to prove the point, the weather service did not list rain anywhere in its 7-day Southland forecasts.

The expected volume of rain will be insufficient to trigger mudslides and debris flows, even over slopes denuded by wildfires, Hall said.

The NWS forecast mostly cloudy conditions today but sunny skies in the Antelope Valley and highs of 44 degrees on Mount Wilson; 59 in Lancaster; 60 in Palmdale; 61 in Lancaster and Avalon; 62 in Burbank; 63 in Pasadena, San Gabriel and Woodland Hills; 64 in Long Beach; and 65 in Downtown L.A. and at LAX. Partly cloudy skies are forecast for the next seven days, including today - - although sunny skies are expected Friday, when a warming trend will get underway, reaching a high of 78 in Downtown L.A. on Monday.

Partly cloudy skies were forecast in Orange County along with highs of 43 on Santiago Peak; 52 on Ortega Highway at 2,600 feet; 58 at Fremont Canyon; 60 at Trabuco Canyon; 61 in Laguna Beach; 62 in San Clemente and Yorba Linda; 63 in Mission Viejo; 64 in Anaheim and Newport Beach; 65 in Fullerton; and 66 in Irvine. Partly cloudy skies are forecast over the three days, including today, followed by sunny skies Friday, Saturday and Sunday before cloudy conditions return.

Photo: Getty Images

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