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Rain expected in L.A. tonight, continuing through Sunday, but cold should ease [Updated]

December 10, 2009 |  7:06 am

http://sat.wrh.noaa.gov/satellite/2km/hnx/IR2HNX.GIF

A new storm is expected to barrel into Southern California this evening, producing about half an inch of rain by Friday morning.

With a weekend storm also in the mix, rain is expected to continue through Sunday. By Sunday night, showers are supposed to taper off, according to the National Weather Service.

Forecasters said the Thursday-Friday storm will be less intense than the one coming this weekend. Both storms, however, will be warmer than the one that hit earlier this week, so the snow level should remain high, at least 5,500 feet. That means roads such as Interstates 5 and 15 are not expected to be affected by snow and ice.

[Updated at 7:32 a.m.: “It’s going to be a little bit heavier than what we’ve been having. We’re going to get a substantial amount of rain,” said Bill Hoffer, a spokesman for the National Weather Service office in Oxnard.

Hoffer said a half an inch of rain is possible late tonight and Friday morning in the L.A. region, while Saturday's storm could bring up to an 1 1/2-inches to coastal and valley areas and up to 2 1/2 inches to the mountains and foothill areas.

Considering the amount of rain expected in areas recently burned by the Station fire, Hoffer said Saturday’s storm has the potential to cause some problems in the wildfire-razed foothills. On Monday, residents in those communities piled their driveways and the borders of their homes with more sandbags and secured the K-rails that were placed weeks ago.

Hoffer said both approaching storms are coming out of the west and will be warmer than the frigid blast that blew in out of the northwest earlier this week. Areas in the snow level should expect at least 12 inches of snow, he said.]

High surf warnings remain through Friday, with waves of up to 8 feet. Even though health officials have said storm runoff has polluted area beaches, that hasn't stopped surfers from tackling the waves.

Temperatures in the L.A. Basin during the storms are expected to be relatively mild: In the 60s during the day and dropping to the 40s at night.

-- Shelby Grad and Gerrick D. Kennedy

Image: National Weather Service

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