A Monday morning wake up call of rain, thunder and hail

A cold storm out of the Gulf of Alaska headed for the Southland, where it's forecast to generate rain, snow and furious winds, lower the snow level and prompt some road closures on Thursday.

But the fast-moving system is not expected to trigger mudslides and debris flows over slopes denuded by wildfires in L.A., Orange or Riverside counties, National Weather Service forecasters said today.

In the San Gabriel Mountains, the snow level is expected to fall to 3,500 feet. Between 2 and 4 inches of snow are expected between 4,500 and 5,500 feet, and between 4 and 8 inches are expected above 5,500 feet amid south to west winds of between 30 and 50 miles per hour.

With three to five hours of precipitation forecast, between a quarter- inch and three quarter of an inch of rain are expected along the L.A. County coast and in the county's valleys, and between three-quarters and an inch-and-a- half in the mountains and foothills, according to the NWS. Similar conditions are expected in Orange County Thursday, with a quarter inch of rain near the coast starting late in the day, and between a half-inch and an inch in the Santa Ana Mountains.

The NWS forecast sunny skies in L.A. County Wednesday and highs of 56 degrees on Mount Wilson; 57 in Palmdale; 58 in Lancaster; 62 in Avalon; 63 at LAX; 64 in Saugus, Long Beach and Burbank; 66 in Downtown L.A., Pasadena, San Gabriel; and 67 in Woodland Hills. Cooler temperatures will coincide with Thursday's rains and climb back slightly in sunny winter Friday without reaching or exceeding Wednesday's temperatures.

Partly cloudy skies are expected in Orange County Wednesday, along with highs of 53 on Santiago Peak; 59 in Laguna Beach; 60 on Ortega Highway at 2,600 feet and San Clemente; 61 in Fremont Canyon; 62 in Newport Beach; 65 in Mission Viejo; 66 in Trabuco Canyon and Yorba Linda; and 67 in Fullerton, Anaheim and Irvine. Highs will be a few degrees lower Thursday amid rain before reverting to roughly Wednesday's temperatures Frida under sunny skies.

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