LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Rainy, cold conditions were moving into the Southland tonight and expected to persist through Saturday -- bringing snow levels as low as 3,000 feet, along with a winter weather advisory for the L.A. County Mountains, according to the National Weather Service.
The conditions will be driven by two weather systems bearing down on the region -- the first expected to bring inclement weather beginning Thursday night and lingering through Friday morning, along with mountain snow and a slight chance of thunderstorms.
Meanwhile, a second, colder system will move in Saturday and continue into the evening, bringing ``another chance of showers to the area.''
Rainfall totals through Friday were expected to be relatively low, with most areas receiving a quarter- to three-quarters of an inch of rain, although the San Gabriel Mountains could get slightly more, forecasters said.
There will be a slight chance of thunderstorms developing, possibly resulting in localized ``brief heavy downpours and small hail.'' Snow levels will drop to 4,500 to 5,000 feet Thursday night, with 5 to 10 inches of snow possible at higher elevations, according to the NWS.
Forecasters said temperatures in much of the area Thursday were 10-15 degrees lower than Wednesday, and temperatures could dip another 5 to 10 degrees on Friday, when temperatures will average about 10 degrees below normal.
Saturday's cold front should bring more showers as well as more snow in the mountains -- with the snow level possibly dropping as low as 3,000 feet, and temperatures falling a few more degrees, keeping most of the region in the mid to upper 50s.
A winter weather advisory will be in effect from 10 p.m. Friday to 10 a.m. Sunday in the Los Angeles County Mountains, excluding the Santa Monica Range.
The weather service said 6 to 12 inches of snow was expected in the Ventura and Los Angeles County Mountains -- with the heaviest accumulations in the eastern San Gabriel Mountains.
In addition, winds gusting to 50 mph were expected in that area, especially Friday night and Saturday night.
The weather service said to expect slippery road conditions along Interstate 5 over the Grapevine, Highway 33 through the Grapevine and Highway 2 through the San Gabriel Mountains.
Forecasters said conditions should begin to rebound on Sunday with clear skies. Warmer weather is expected to return by Monday.