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Rain and snow set to arrive in SoCal starting Friday evening

Amber Lee's weather forecast (March 1)
Amber Lee's weather forecast (March 1) 03:23

Another bout of rain and mountain snow are set to arrive in the region starting Friday evening with forecasters warning of the potential for "many hours of light rain," but gusting winds could be the more concerning issue.

The brunt of the storm is likely to primarily impact areas north of Los Angeles County, but the Southland will still have to cope with light rain, gusty winds and below-normal temperatures.

"Ventura and Los Angeles counties are on the fringes of the moisture, with a few light showers that will become more prevalent by this afternoon and evening," according to the National Weather Service. "Still expecting the steady precipitation to expand to all areas tonight, with the bulk of the precipitation occurring on Saturday.

Forecasters said the overall storm system will likely drop between a half-inch and an inch of rain in most areas, possibly up to 2.5 inches in some foothills and mountains -- highest in eastern Los Angeles County and San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties.

"Rain will be mostly on the light to moderate side, but there could be some heavier embedded showers late (Friday night) into Saturday evening, as colder air aloft brings increasing instability to the region," according to the NWS. "At this point, there is no mention of thunderstorms in the official forecast, because the best dynamics and coldest air aloft will remain to the north of the forecast area. However, it is not a zero percent chance, and if any thunderstorms occur, they would be most likely Saturday into Saturday evening. Steady rain will decrease late Saturday night, then turn to scattered showers Sunday."

As much as 16 inches of snow could fall at mountain elevations above 7,000 feet, with as much as 8 inches possible as low as 5,500 feet. There is only a slight chance of accumulating snow on the Golden State (5) Freeway through the Tejon Pass.

In the eastern San Gabriel Mountains, a winter storm warning will be in effect from 6 p.m. Friday through 10 a.m. Sunday, thanks to the possibility of higher-elevation snow accumulations and winds gusting up to 65 mph.

Forecasters noted that "probably the biggest impact of this storm will be the wind." Moderate to strong southwest winds are expected to peak on Saturday.

"The strongest winds look over all mountains and interior valleys/deserts where downed trees, power outages, and hazardous driving conditions will be prevalent. Mountain areas will also be dealing with blowing snow," according to the NWS.

A wind advisory was in effect Friday in the Antelope Valley and western San Gabriel Mountains, but it will increase to a high wind warning at 10 p.m., continuing through 1 p.m. Sunday. Forecasters said winds of 25 to 40 mph are anticipated, gusting up to 65 mph.

A wind advisory will be in effect throughout the day Saturday in the Santa Clarita Valley, with gusts reaching 45 mph.

Temperatures will also remain cold through the weekend, with highs expected to be 6 to 12 degrees below normal in most areas, with some locations falling to 20 degrees below normal.

The storm should move out of the area by Sunday, with another round of light rain possible by Wednesday.

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