White Christmas in SoCal: Snow forecast for some areas this holiday weekend

Local news

The region will have two significant chances of precipitation this week, the first arriving Thursday and the second on Christmas Day, according to Alex Tardy, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Back-to-back storms are expected to soak much of Southern California with rain and bring snow to mountain areas in the coming days, making for a white Christmas in parts of the Southland.

“On Thursday and Friday we have the potential for two surges of atmospheric river moisture,” he said in a weather briefing.

The storms are forecast to bring widespread rain to the Southland and snow in the area’s highest elevations.

Snow levels will gradually drop through the week into the weekend, hovering above 6,500 to 7,000 feet starting Thursday.

A few inches of snow is anticipated over some local ski resorts as a result of the first system, with flurries possibly bringing accumulations of 1 to 2 inches on mountain passes, according to Tardy.

Forecasters predict the first storm will leave the region on Christmas Eve before another surge is over the Southland starting early Christmas Day.

That second storm will be slightly colder, with temperatures in mountain areas plunging into the 20s, according to the weather service.

At the same time, snow levels will dip to 4,500 feet by Friday and lower to 4,000 feet by the end of the long holiday weekend.

Altogether, mountain communities could see a few inches of fresh white powder.

“If they don’t see that snow by Friday morning, certainly by Sunday morning,” he said. “So keep that in mind, carry chains if going to the mountains.” 

NWS also warned of travel delays from wet roads and wintry driving conditions at higher elevations, so make sure to be prepared and give yourself plenty of time to travel to your holiday destination.

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