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Storm brings dusting of snow, chance of showers, but no mudslide threat

November 28, 2009 | 11:25 am

Storm clouds clustered over Southern California mountains this morning, bringing a dusting of snow and making for a scenic skyline, but meteorologists said only scattered showers may hit the Los Angeles Basin this afternoon as the chilly Pacific storm moves out.

The storm, which is coming out of the north, is expected to bring a 20% chance of showers with snow accumulations of 3 to 6 inches. Rainfall is not expected to be heavy enough to cause mudslides in the areas burned in the recent Station fire, said Jamie Meier, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

"We are not concerned about mudslides or debris flow today," Meier said.

The majority of the L.A. Basin will see temperatures reach into the mid-60s today, Meier said.

Snow fell along the Grapevine section of Interstate 5 before sunrise, and California Highway Patrol officers used traffic breaks and escorts to slow down motorists during the storm. No accidents were reported.

No highways were closed in Los Angeles County because of the storm, said CHP Officer Krystal Carter. Carter warned that motorists should continue to be cautious because the roads are expected to be slick.

In Temecula, at least three vehicles spun out of control on Interstate 15 north of the Border Patrol checkpoint on the Riverside and San Diego county line. No injuries were reported.

Snow is expected to fall until early afternoon in the Tejon Pass and Grapevine area, but will decrease as the day warms up, Meier said. The Antelope Valley foothills saw some light snow early today. The 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.

By early evening, the storm will push eastward and the area can expect windy weather instead of rain, Meier said. "Once the sun goes down, we're pretty much in the clear," she said.

Gusts in the mountain areas could reach 50 mph this evening, and the L.A. Basin will see winds up to 20 mph, Meier said.

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.

The weather service predicts that it will be mostly sunny and breezy Sunday. Highs will be in the mid-60s to low 70s, and nighttime temperatures will be in the mid-40s to low 50s.

-- My-Thuan Tran and Ann M. Simmons

Photo: Looking south toward the Los Angeles basin from La Cañada this morning. 
Credit: Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times