Tuesday, February 21, 2023 11:03 PM

Big winter storm to slam Southern California this week


A strong storm system will slam Southern California this week bringing heavy mountain snow, strong winds, and areas of heavy rainfall to the valleys, including in Los Angeles and San Diego where temperatures will be well below average and weather conditions will be wet.

The initial impacts will be minor for Southern California beginning late Tuesday into Wednesday with some spotty lowland rain showers, areas of mountain snow, and most noticeably colder temperatures and gusty winds. Bigger impacts arrive late week into the weekend as the main storm system drops down the California coast, from north to south, out of the Pacific Northwest.

This big area of low pressure will increase moisture and wind initially beginning in Northern and Central California Wednesday and Thursday and shifting into Southern California late Thursday and Friday and continuing into the weekend.

This storm system will tap into rich moisture, paired with being a slow-mover, bringing several inches of rain to the west, southwest, and south-facing foothills of Southern California, and lighter but still impressive, rain amounts to the valleys of Southern California.

Rainfall forecast through this weekend

Rainfall forecast through this weekend

Atmospheric river to impact SoCal

Storm and atmospheric river

This storm system's origins are cold so it has a lot of cold air associated with it, which will plummet snow levels. Snow levels will drop down to around 1,250 to 1,500 feet in some cases and feet of snow to the mountains in Southern California. In fact, snow levels will be so low that Banning Pass and the Grapevine will see snow that could disrupt travel. Upwards of a foot of snow could fall for the Grapevine.

**Snow forecast through this weekend **

Snow forecast through this weekend

Strong, gusty winds will also disrupt travel and could lead to power outages and minor structural damage to smaller outbuildings. Winds will gust between 50 to 60 mph with some higher gusts approaching 70 to 90 mph in the gap areas and higher elevations. Some of the strongest wind gusts will be realized Tuesday night and Wednesday.

Wind forecast Tuesday night and Wednesday

Wind forecast Tuesday night and Wednesday

There's a plethora of wind alerts (High Wind Warnings and Wind Advisories) along with winter weather alerts (Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories) for Southern California and most of California. The heaviest rain and snow will fall Friday and Saturday in Southern California, and by the time the storm departs by the late weekend, Big Bear could be left with feet of snow.

Current weather alerts

Current weather alerts