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Scattered showers briefly return to Southern California ahead of a cool, dry week

As storm systems continue to sweep through Northern California, Southland is getting a bit of a reprieve. Sunday’s gray skies will bring light rain, less than a tenth of an inch, and the week ahead will be mostly dry and slightly warmer.

Mike Wofford, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard, calls it a “nuisance rain” and sees the showers subsiding by noon. Snow levels — less than an inch in the mountains — are expected to drop to 4,000 feet.

“We’re getting the edges of a storm system centered in the north,” Wofford said. But “it has to stop there”.

With communities in the San Bernardino Mountains still covered in snow and facing a critical shortage of supplies, the forecast for the next few days — blue skies, white clouds, highs in the low 60s — should be a relief , and while there is a chance of rain next weekend, “we’re not saying much about it,” Wofford said. The models are still uncertain.

Farther north, the forecast calls for more snow in the Sierra Nevada. The UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Laboratory expects 2 to 4 feet more through Monday and into the week ahead. The lab reports a season total of nearly 47 feet, which is within a foot of the 2016-2017 snow season.

The return of familiar winter weather patterns is a breath of fresh air for drought-parched California. The recent succession of storms originated in the Gulf of Alaska and traveled up the West Coast.

Wofford is reluctant to predict what lies ahead in March and April as winter turns to spring. “There is some evidence that we will see heavier precipitation down the road,” he said, “but we are focused on the short term.”