Fast-Moving Storm System to Bring Snow to Parts of SoCal on Christmas Eve

A white Christmas was in store for parts of California with wet weather elsewhere in the state that could mean dangerous driving conditions and possible power outages.

The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory Monday for higher elevations in San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles, Ventura and Kern counties.

The weather service said the fast-moving storm system was expected to move into Southern California late Monday, bringing up to 4 inches of snow to elevations above 4,000 feet (1,200 meters) including Big Bear, Wrightwood and the Grapevine area of Interstate 5.

The system also was expected to bring gusty winds between 40 and 60 mph (64 to 97 kph) and a chance of rain at lower elevations.

The conditions could create snowy and ice-covered roads with low visibility and strong cross winds.

The California Department of Transportation said chains will be required in mountain areas.

The system is expected to move out late Tuesday.

In Northern California, the weather service issued a flash flood watch for an area of Mendocino County that was charred by wildfires earlier this year.

The warning was in effect from noon until 6 p.m. Monday. Motorists traveling along Highway 20 should be on alert for possible road flooding, rockslides and debris flows, it said.

The fire in July blackened 717 square miles (1,857 square kilometers), much of it in Mendocino National Forest.

The weather service also issued a coastal flood advisory in parts of the San Francisco Bay Area until 2 p.m. Monday because of higher than normal tides.

Holiday travelers in parts of the Sierra Nevada could see up to 2 feet of snow in some mountain passes at elevations of about 6,000 feet. Forecasters say that by Tuesday, snow could fall at lower mountain elevations.

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