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Pacific storm to bring showers, high surf and snow to Southern California

November 27, 2009 |  8:48 pm
In the first touch of winter, a cold Pacific storm is expected to produce snow in the local mountains, high surf along Los Angeles-area beaches, and a solid chance of rain throughout much of the region, according to the National Weather Service.

The local forecast for Saturday calls for a 50% chance of rain and a slight chance of thundershowers. Skies will be mostly cloudy in the morning and partly cloudy by the afternoon. Lows will be in the upper 40s to mid-50s and the highs in the lower 60s. Winds will be out of the southwest at 15 mph.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for the Ventura, San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountains that will remain in effect until 3 p.m. Saturday. The storm, which is coming out of the north, is expected to bring a chance of showers and snow accumulations of 3 to 6 inches.

Due to the cold and unstable nature of the system, meteorologists say the precipitation could be highly variable throughout the mountain areas. The snowfall may be heavy at times and reach levels as low as 3,500 feet.

The weather could affect travelers on Interstate 5 near Gorman and the Tejon Pass as well as Highway 33 in the Ventura County mountains. Winds will be 20 to 30 mph, with gusts up to 40 mph in those areas.

At local beaches, a strong west-northwest swell will produce 4- to 6-foot waves with 8- to 10-foot faces. A high surf advisory will remain in effect until 10 a.m. Sunday, when the swell is expected to fade.

The weather service predicts that it will be mostly sunny and breezy Sunday. Highs will be in the mid-60s to low 70s while nighttime temperatures will be in the mid-40s to lower 50s. Clear skies are predicted for Sunday evening.

--Dan Weikel