Cold, fast-moving rainstorm expected Thursday

A cold, fast-moving storm out of the Gulf of Alaska worked its way toward the Southland today, poised to hit Thursday, when it will generate between three and five hours of moderate rain.

In the San Gabriel Mountains, four to eight inches of snow will fall above 5,500 feet and between one and four inches between 3,500 and 5,500 feet,said NWS meteorologist Rich Thompson.

South winds of 40-50 miles per hour and strong cross winds are expected over icy, snow-covered roads in mountain areas, causing blowing snow and sharply limiting visibility, warned the NWS, adding that the roads expected to be affected by challenging conditions include Interstate 5 through the Grapevine, the 14 Freeway, Highway 138 and Highway 33 in Ventura County.

He said three to five hours of rain is expected Thursday during the day and night, likely generating some minor urban flooding, although mud slides and debris flows over slopes denuded by wildfires are not expected.

“At this point, no problems are anticipated in burn areas,” he said early this morning.

Between a quarter-inch and three quarter of an inch of rain is expected along the L.A. County coast and in the county’s valleys, and between three-quarters and an inch-and-a-half in the mountains and foothills, according to the NWS.

Similar conditions are expected in Orange County Thursday, with a quarter inch of rain near the coast starting late in the day, between a half-inch and an inch in the Santa Ana Mountains, and no problems expected in the burn areas of Orange and Riverside counties, NWS meteorologist Greg Martin said, describing the approaching system as “smaller” and “fast-moving.”

The NWS forecast sunny skies in L.A. County today, along with highs of 61 in Long Beach, Saugus, Burbank and at LAX. Wednesday’s temperatures will be about the same in some communities, slightly higher in others amid a combination of sunny and partly cloudy skies, but Thursday’s highs will dip to the low and high 50s amid rain before rising to the 60s on Friday.

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