Approaching storm bringing rain, snow and hail in Southern California

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After a dry start to the year, a powerful storm system will move into Southern California late Sunday, bringing heavy rain, snow and gusty winds, according to the National Weather Service.

A storm system in the Pacific Ocean has drawn down from the Gulf of Alaska in recent days and forecasters said it is expected to reach the region by 10 p.m.

Coastal and inland cities are estimated to receive between 1 and 2 inches of rain, while the mountains receive up to 4 inches, including up to 3 inches of snow above 6,000 feet.

Forecasters warn of possible debris flows in areas recently burned by wildfires.

Carol Smith, a meteorologist at NWS, said the storm will last through Monday evening, bringing at times heavy downpours, gusts, thunder and relief. She said some areas will see hail.

“It’s a big storm system,” she said. “The roads will be slippery because of the oil buildup that has accumulated.”

Temperatures are also expected to cool significantly after recent record highs and an unusually warm February.

Smith said that while the storm system will bring much-needed rain and snow, nowhere will it be as intense as the previous systems that struck last December when downtown Los Angeles received about 9 inches of rain.

So far, the center has received less than an inch of rain this year, compared to nearly 4 inches in the same period last year.

Smith said it doesn’t rain much, but it’s something.

“We’ll take it,” she said.

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