Southland Can Expect Drier Day, But More Storms Bearing Down

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Gusting winds and cold temperatures provided the Southland with a vivid reminder that it's still winter -- and more wet weather is bearing down after an expected dry spell today.

“Drier conditions are forecast for Tuesday, then a much wetter storm system will stall over the region Wednesday and Thursday, mainly Santa Barbara and northward, then move through the area later Thursday and Friday,'' according to the National Weather Service. “Several inches of rain are likely with feet of higher mountain snow, along with moderate to strong southwest winds.''

It will be sunny today, with highs in the mid-to-upper-50s from the beaches to downtown Los Angeles, the lower-to-mid-50s in the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys, the lower-50s in the Santa Clarita Valley and the upper-30s and 40s in the Antelope Valley.

A winter storm warning for Los Angeles County mountains that was expected to expire at 10 p.m. Monday was extended to 4 a.m. Tuesday by the NWS. Forecasters said 2 to 5 inches of snow was possible above 4,000 feet, with light snow possible as low as the 2,500-foot level. The conditions will be complemented by 20 to 40 mph winds, with occasional gusts of up to 65 mph.

A wind advisory will be in effect until 6 a.m. Tuesday in the Antelope Valley, the coastal region and the Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area. The advisory is expected to expire at 10 p.m. Monday in the San Fernando, San Gabriel and Santa Clarita valleys.

Monday's high temperatures struggled to reach the mid-50s in most areas Monday, with some areas never making it out of the 40s.

Forecasters said there was still a chance of showers in mountain areas overnight, with snow levels ranging between 1,500 and 2,000 feet.

The late-week storm is expected to be a particularly wet one, although it is not expected to bring as much snow to lower mountain elevations. The rest of the area, however, could see significant rainfall.

“With the potential of this event, the area may approach critical thresholds for mud and debris flows in and around the recent burn areas,'' the NWS warned.

Los Angeles County health officials issued a cold weather alert through Thursday for the mountains and Antelope Valley, and through Tuesday for the Santa Monica Mountains and the Santa Clarita Valley.

Along the coast, health officials issued a beach water use advisory through 7:30 a.m. Wednesday. The county's chief health officer, Dr. Muntu Davis, cautioned residents that bacteria, chemicals, debris, trash, and other public health hazards from city streets and mountain areas are likely to contaminate ocean waters at and around discharging storm drains, creeks, and rivers after the recent rainfall. Individuals who enter the water in these areas could become ill.

Photo: Getty Images

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