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High surf, more rain, snow forecast for Southern California

February 17, 2011 |  8:26 am

The next in a series of winter storms is set to move into Southern California on Thursday night, bringing with it cold temperatures and high surf.

The National Weather Service on Thursday morning issued a high-surf warning for the Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo county coasts. Officials predicted swells of 6 to 12 feet and said some sand erosion is possible during high tides.

The new storm could drop up to 6 inches of rain in mountain areas, forecasters said.

Preliminary estimates Wednesday night indicated that the storm could drop 1 to 2 inches in coastal and valley areas and 3 to 6 inches in the foothills and mountains Thursday through Saturday, the weather service said.

The downpours will be a result of the slow-moving nature of the storm, coupled with the possibility of thundershowers, said Bonnie Bartling of the weather service's Oxnard office.

"If the storm is staying over you and raining," she told The Times, "you're going to get more rain."

Snow levels are expected to drop to 3,000 feet, possibly affecting driving conditions on Interstate 5 near the Grapevine and the 14 Freeway in Soledad Canyon, according to the weather service.

Rains should continue through Sunday morning, forecasters said.

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-- Robert J. Lopez

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