Batten down the hatches. The wettest storm of the season so far is likely to hit Los Angeles Thursday and Friday, forecasters say.
If you're expecting to light up the fireplace and zone out with some hot chocolate and your favorite strain of medical marijuana, you certainly can, but this front will be disappointingly warm. The snow level predicted for local mountains, 8,000 feet, might be too high to be of much use to board riders. On Friday afternoon it will drop to 4,000 feet, but by then much of the precipitation will be gone, says National Weather Service hydrologist Jayme Laber.
Still, a good winter storm is almost always welcome around these parts.
The storm will move down the coast and could reach us by the early evening rush hour tomorrow, Laber said. The foothills of the eastern San Gabriel Valley could see as much as three inches of rain during the storm, according to federal forecasters. Urban L.A., however, will see only a half-inch to an inch of rain, Laber said.
"Strong south to southwest winds are forecast for Thursday and Thursday night, shifting to the northwest and remaining strong through Friday evening," according to an NWS statement. "There is a potential for damaging winds during this time. With wet soils due to rainfall, there will be a risk of downed trees and power lines, power outages, flooding of low-lying areas and roads. In addition, there could be a risk of flash flooding and debris flows in recent burn areas during periods of heavy rain."
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The rain should be over by late Friday, Laber said. Surf will start off strong at about 7 feet Thursday, mellowing to 6 feet Friday, he said.
Temperatures will remain relatively warm, with downtown highs of 63 forecast for Thursday and 58 for Friday, Laber said; lows could reach 55 Thursday night and 45 Friday night.
While this could be the wettest storm of the season, which started Oct. 1, keep in mind that the season's still young. Winter doesn't officially arrive until Dec. 21. And February is traditionally SoCal's rainiest month.