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Southland braces as cold weather and rain move in

February 26, 2012 | 11:26 pm

A cold weather system is expected to bring the snow level in mountains near Los Angeles down to 2,500 feet by noon Monday.

Mountain snowfall accumulations are estimated to be 1 to 3 inches and could be accompanied by sustained winds of 20 to 30 mph, with gusts up to 45 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

Driving conditions in the mountains will be hazardous, forecasters say.

In downtown Los Angeles, there’s a chance of rain showers overnight. The overnight low will be 48, with southeast winds about 5 mph.

Showers are likely Monday, with the chance of rain 70%, and the possibility of thunderstorms, especially before 4 p.m. The high is expected to be 58.

The cool-weather trend will continue through Monday night, with an expected low of 44 degrees and diminishing precipitation. The forecast for Tuesday is sunny, with a high near 59.

Hazardous surf conditions are expected along the coast, mainly at west-facing beaches between Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning. The weather service issued a warning that rip currents could produce “hazardous and possibly life-threatening conditions for inexperienced swimmers and surfers.”

-- Howard Blume