UPDATE at 3:23 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016: The National Weather Service has increased the chance of rain on Saturday to 60 percent in the afternoon, meteorologist David Sweet says. That chance decreases to 30 percent after 10 p.m., so it's possible the storm might have passed when the primetime party hours arrive. Another, earlier front will bring us an 80 percent chance of rain for daytime Friday, Sweet said. We changed the headline to reflect the latest forecast. First posted at 7:22 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 28.
Sorry to burst your Champagne bubbles, but it could actually rain in Los Angeles on New Year's Eve. You can tell your out-of-town relatives it's a rare, 100-year storm. But it's quite ordinary, unfortunately.
There's a 30 percent chance of rain Saturday night as a result of possibly lingering showers from a Pacific front that's headed south for the weekend, according to National Weather Service weather specialist Stuart Seto. So there's nearly a 1-in-3 chance that it will rain on your party shoes. Dress accordingly.
The good news is that rain is unlikely on that holiest of Southern California holidays, Monday's Rose Bowl, which, when paired with Monday's Rose Parade, is responsible for half of L.A.'s population of Midwestern transplants (aka snowbirds). "Pasadena will be safe one more year," Seto promises. (The parade and football game, normally held on Jan. 1, are on Monday this year, since that date falls on a Sunday.)
The rain is expected to start with a storm Thursday night into Friday, which could bring as much as a half-inch of precipitation, Seto says. That storm, from the southwest, will bring a 50 percent chance of rain through Friday morning.
The second front, from the north, could strike Friday night into Saturday morning, Seto says. "We're not confident about precipitation amounts."
If you're headed to Vegas, this front could follow you. Federal forecasters in Nevada, however, have not expressed much confidence in the prospect of rain for New Year's Eve and and New Year's Day.
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Monday night into Tuesday a third front is headed our way, and there's a 20 percent chance of showers, according to Seto. But he sees the Rose Parade Monday being spared precipitation — for now. You might be able to leave your umbrella at home, but heavy jackets could be mandatory.
The high temperature for downtown Los Angeles will likely drop from the mid 70s Thursday to the mid 60s Friday afternoon, Seto says. A high of only 60 is forecast for Saturday. But the important temperature here is early Sunday morning's low, when some of you will still be raging: 45, he says.
Friday through Saturday snow levels could reach as low as 4,000 feet, which would affect the Interstate 5 Grapevine into L.A., Seto says. Yes, it will be cold, even by snowbird standards.
"I'm digging out the winter coats to keep warm," Seto says.