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Clear skies forecast for Southern California after Thursday showers — but it won't last long

Los Angeles, CA - January 22: A couple use umbrellas while walking through fallen leaves and rain showers in Little Tokyo neighborhood of downtown Los Angeles Monday, Jan. 22, 2024. The strongest in a series of three storms is sliding into the Southland Monday with forecasters warning of possible thunderstorms in Los Angeles. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
A couple shield themselves from the rain as they walk in Little Tokyo in downtown Los Angeles on Monday. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Following light showers across the Los Angeles region Thursday morning, forecasters say Southern California can expect a reprieve — however short-lived — from recent rains.

A weak weather system moved down the Central Coast on Wednesday, hitting Los Angeles early Thursday, where it "caused a real deepening of the marine layer,” said Ryan Kittell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

“We did have some light showers and drizzle overnight," Kittell said Thursday morning. "It was pretty widespread, but the amounts were pretty much a tenth of a inch or less."

“We’re expecting that to be decreasing through the morning and be pretty much done by the afternoon," he added. It's unlikely that any continued showers would drastically increase rainfall totals, he said.

Come Friday, Kittell said there will be a dramatic shift in weather, with a dry, warming trend expected.

“We’re going to quickly jump from this cool drizzly pattern to Santa Ana offshore winds starting [Friday]," Kittell said, referencing the strong, dry, downslope winds that often cause fire concerns across Southern California. But with the recent rains, Kittell said the effect of the easterly winds, coupled with a high-pressure system over the Southwest, will cause a “pretty rapid warmup," beginning Friday and continuing through Tuesday.

Highs on Friday through early next week will reach into the 70s.

But forecasters are warning that more rain is on the way, and Kittell said it could arrive as early as Wednesday. An “impactful atmospheric river event” is expected to move south along the West Coast from Wednesday to Feb. 5, bringing heavy rain, significant snow and high winds, according to the latest updates from the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center.

“There’s still a range of outcomes as far as how much rain we’ll see, but the best estimates are for 1 to 2 inches of rain with that first storm," Kittell said. "After that, they’ll likely be another storm or two."

Much of California and the West are expected to see higher than average precipitation over the next two weeks.

“People should be prepared for a pretty wet end of next week into the following week," Kittell said.

Earlier this week, a significant storm dumped heavy rain on Southern California, hitting San Diego particularly hard. Historic rainfall there caused major flash flooding that damaged hundreds of homes, businesses and roadways, leaving an untold number of families displaced.

Read more: SoCal sees two 'thousand-year' storms within weeks. More could be coming

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.