LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — A powerful winter storm dumped about a half-inch of rain on Los Angeles and forecasters say more wet, messy weather is expected.

The National Weather Service says another mass of cold air moving into Southern California could bring thunderstorms Saturday afternoon and into Sunday.

This latest storm could drop up to four inches of snow at elevations as low as 3,500 feet, causing potential traffic snarls on mountain passes.

Rain began to move into the region from the north Friday afternoon and made a mess of the evening commute. The California Highway Patrol says there were approximately 158 collisions between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Friday, compared with 80 for the same time period one week ago.

A flash-flood watch was issued for mountain areas that have been scorched by wildfires in recent years, but there are no immediate reports of any problems.

“Because of the heavy rains and the thunderstorms, which can produce quite a bit of rainfall in a short period of time, the burn areas are in danger of possible debris flow,” National Weather Service specialist Stuart Seto said.

Seto told KNX 1070’s Ed Mertz that the Los Angeles Basin has received about half an inch of rain from the current system; in the valleys, there’s been up to an inch and in the mountains up to an inch and a half of rain.

A large swath of land north of Los Angeles that burned in the 2009 Station Fire is expected to face the danger of debris flows and mudslides for years.

Those driving in lower elevations should be alert for tree branches and potholes, Seto added.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (3)
  1. anthony says:

    bring it on sucka!!

  2. Jeff Shaw says:

    I saw Jeff Nguyen in the snow pointing out icicles and a thermostat.

    It was a thermometer.

    For you Jeff, thermometers measure, thermostats control.

    The thing on your wall that operates the heater is a thermostat. It would make no sense to have one outside…

    1. Elbeth says:

      Think of all the money he could have earnt if in fact he had a thermostat – for weather outside….

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