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Rain moves into Southern California; high winds are forecast

February 13, 2012 | 12:18 pm

Weather Story (click for larger image)

Rain and the promise of high winds moved into Southern California on Monday, with thunderstorms in mountain areas possible Monday night and scattered showers across the region expected to persist for a couple of days.

Light rain was falling at midday Monday in downtown Los Angeles and other parts of the region.

Gusts of up to 50 mph are expected in some coastal waters and mountains as the storm moves down the coast. Wind advisories were issued for Monday afternoon into the evening for the Santa Barbara and Ventura coasts, Santa Barbara mountains and Antelope Valley areas, said Curt Kaplan, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

The winds could combine with snow in the mountains of Los Angeles and Ventura counties, making driving hazardous in some areas, including the Grapevine stretch of the Interstate 5, Kaplan said. Winter weather advisories were issued for noon Monday to 3 a.m. Tuesday. Drivers were cautioned to prepare for slippery roads and limited visibility and advised to pack chains, extra food and clothing.

Thunderstorms and even hail may develop in some parts of the region Monday night, forecasters said.

During the day Monday, scattered showers are expected across the region but rainfall will be minimal, at less than one-tenth of an inch, Kaplan said.

“You might just get a couple spritzes, but nothing really to write home about,” he said.

After a reprieve from the storm Tuesday, the forecast calls for cold weather, winds and a chance of showers Wednesday and later in the week.


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Image: Forecast highlights for the winter storm moving into Southern California. Credit: National Weather Service