LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Is that Santa or a storm headed for Southern California? Both – wet weather, and possibly snow, is on the way to the region just in time for Christmas.
Wednesday’s overcast skies will give way to light rain that will develop on Thursday, according to CBS2’s Evelyn Taft. Rain could be heavy at times Thursday night into Friday morning, but should taper off into the afternoon and make for just a damp Christmas Eve.READ MORE: Brian Laundrie Claimed 'Responsibility' For Gabby Petito's Death In Notebook, FBI says
This storm could produce up to two inches of rain for the valleys and coastal cities, and as much as five inches for the mountains and coastal slopes.
Here's the latest forecast precipitation totals through Christmas afternoon. The period with the highest amounts has also slowed a bit to Thursday and Friday. Biggest impact will be on the roadways. Travel safe this Holiday weekend! #CAwx pic.twitter.com/PZJa84sd7B
— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) December 21, 2021
Those hoping for a white Christmas might get their wish – even though snowfall will remain above 8,000 feet through Thursday, it will fall as low as 4,000 feet on Sunday, the day after Christmas. For serious snow play, Taft says there could be significant accumulating snow above 7,000 feet starting as early as Wednesday.READ MORE: VP Kamala Harris Visits San Bernardino To Tout $600M In Wildfire Recovery Money For Calif.
This weekend’s weather won’t necessarily be tranquil because it will be accompanied by gusty winds in the 20 to 40 mph range. Higher elevations could see gusts as high as 50 mph.
Residents living in burn scars from recent wildfires should also remain alert because of the risk of flash flooding and debris flows from heavy rain.
Precautions are already in place for areas especially susceptible to heavy rainfall. A flood watch was issued Thursday night and Friday morning for coastal and inland Orange County, while the Angeles National Forest has shut down several forest roads in anticipation of rain and low snow levels.
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Due to the upcoming rain & low snow levels the following roads have been closed:
3N17 from BD to Mill Creek
4N37 Indian Canyon passable in 4×4 only
4N24 Bear Trap
7N23 Sawmill/ Liebre area – 4×4 only
7N08 Maxwell truck trail
7N22 Knapp ranch large wash out https://t.co/nv3ASMKQzH pic.twitter.com/dpPRVCmWyI
— Angeles National Forest (@Angeles_NF) December 22, 2021
Drivers headed to grandmother’s house for Christmas should be prepared for winter driving conditions on roads in higher elevations, as snow, ice, and blowing snow could reduce visibility. Snow could also impact heavily-traveled mountain passes such as the Grapevine on the 5 Freeway and the Cajon Pass along the 15 Freeway.