Southern California is bracing for the coldest storm of the winter and likely the coldest storm in many years, which will bring rain and lower-elevation snow to the region.

The weather will shift dramatically Tuesday afternoon with cooler temperatures and winds ranging from 30-50 mph in the valleys and coastal areas, according to the National Weather Service. Wind gusts in the mountains and foothills could reach as high as 80 mph.

High temperatures will be in the low-to-mid-60s for metropolitan Los Angeles, then fall dramatically in the evening.

“This storm will pack a one-two punch as the winds will be accompanied by extremely cold air,” NWS said.

Chances for precipitation increase on Thursday and Friday and will continue into the weekend.

Future Storm Track. Feb. 20, 2023.
Future Storm Tracker. Feb. 20, 2023.

“As the storm moves onshore, it will pack a big punch,” said KTLA meteorologist Henry DiCarlo. “The atmosphere is really poised for a lot of rain.

DiCarlo is forecasting 4 to 5 inches of rainfall in the coastal areas and valleys through Saturday, and snowfall as low as 1,000 feet in elevation, meaning possible snow or graupel in the San Fernando Valley, Santa Clarita Valley and La Crescenta.

At 1,500 feet, the 5 Freeway through the Grapevine is expected to see dangerous driving conditions due to snowfall. Snow accumulation in the mountain above 2,500 feet will range from 6 to 12 inches, NWS said.

“I think this is the storm that gets us over our seasonal average for moisture. It’s been years since we’ve talked about that,” DiCarlo said.

The Los Angeles County Public Health Department issued a cold weather warning due to wind chill temperatures that are expected to be below freezing.

“Children, the elderly, and people with disabilities or special medical needs are especially vulnerable during cold weather. Extra precaution should be taken to ensure they don’t get too cold when they are outside,” said Dr. Muntu Davis, Los Angeles County health officer. “There are places where people can go to stay warm, such as shelters or other public facilities. We also want to remind people not to use stoves, barbeques or ovens to heat their homes due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.”

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority has a Winter Shelter Program available for those in need. Locations and transportation information can be found online at or by calling the L.A. County Information line at 211.