Fox News Weather Center

Extended break from rain, snow in California may follow two storms early next week

Some rain and pass-level snow aiming at California from Sunday to Monday could be the last significant storm through the middle of March.

Chillier and drier air will settle southward along the Pacific coast over the next few days.

Through Saturday, only spotty rain will fall along the coast from Washington to Oregon and Northern California as one storm system dives southward but mainly offshore over the Pacific Ocean.

During Sunday, this storm will turn inland over California. A second storm is likely to follow over Southern California on Monday.

Static Cali Storm Sunday Monday

"At this time, we expect enough rain to fall along the coast and over the interior valleys with snow in the mountains to cause minor travel disruptions over much of California from Sunday to Monday," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson.

Only if the storms merge would rain and snow be heavy enough to renew widespread stream flooding and mudslides. That appears unlikely at this point.

"Chances are the Sunday to Monday storms will not have time to grab a great deal of moisture and cause rain and snow for very long," Anderson said. "So the storms should not be nearly as bad in terms of flooding as the past two storms."

Snow levels, however, will be much lower with the storms early next week, as opposed to the storm from this past week.

"Freezing levels may lower enough to bring snow to the passes throughout California," Anderson said.

Another 6 to 12 inches of snow may fall with wintry travel in the Sierra Nevada with perhaps a couple of inches and slippery conditions over the Grapevine.

A few episodes of rain are likely in the Los Angeles area from Saturday night to Monday.

There is a chance of a break in the rain on Sunday afternoon and evening in Hollywood, California, for Academy Awards red carpet activities.

"Downpours over coastal Southern California on Monday could be heavy enough to cause urban flooding," according to AccuWeather Long-Range Meteorologist Jack Boston.

Could the storm early next week be the last for the winter season?

Once the storm departs California on Tuesday, there may be an extended period of dry weather for much of the state.

Beyond early next week, while it is too early to say with certainty that the storms have ended for the season in California, it does appear that the longer separation between storms beginning now will carry forward well into March.

"It is possible that much of California may receive little or no precipitation during the first couple of weeks of March," according to AccuWeather Lead-Long Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok.

On average, precipitation trends downward significantly during March and April in California with the wettest months of the year December, January and February in the rear-view mirror.

Warmer weather and sunshine anticipated for the state during early March will trigger some melting snow at intermediate elevations in the Sierra Nevada.