As part of the double whammy of rain that's hitting Southern California this week, forecasters say we can expect some serious snow in local mountains for the first time this season.

A second storm expected to move into the area late Tuesday into early Wednesday could push the week's local snow totals to half a foot of that good stuff, National Weather Service meteorologist John Dumas told us.

He's applying that estimate to the much-closer San Gabriel Mountains, too, since Dumas is based at the office that handles L.A. area forecasts. Much of the same was likely for the San Bernardino Mountains, where the local resorts are located, he said.


The three systems we've seen so far this month have been too warm to produce that much snow at usable elevations. (Big Bear Mountain Resorts, however, does have Snow Summit footage, below, of powder hitting last week).

But this time around, particularly on Wednesday, things will be colder, and snow levels will descend from 7,500 feet last night to 5,000 feet Wednesday morning, Dumas said.

“It's probably good news for the ski resorts,” he said.

That will be a heavier system, all around, than Monday's event, forecasters say, with up to an inch of rain in the L.A. basin and one to two inches in the mountains and foothills.

The system we saw overnight was expected to produce a quarter to three-quarters of an inch of rain, Dumas said.

Both systems are also responsible for a high surf advisory, with forecasters predicting six- to 10-foot waves along the SoCal coast through Wednesday, he said.

While both systems this week combine cold fronts with tropical moisture drawn in from the tropical Pacific, the second one will be colder, Dumas said.

“The second one that comes through has colder air above it, and there's a chance of thunderstorms after it passes,” he said.

If you're chasing snow, both Snow Summit and Bear Mountain have been open since Thanksgiving week. Mountain High, which claims to have 12 to 18 inches of base snow, is open too.


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