Rain is expected to douse Southern California on Wednesday, but whether Angelenos will need their umbrellas remains to be seen.
The storm system could dump up to half an inch on the southern portion of Los Angeles County, said Ryan Kittell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard. Riverside and Orange counties are also likely to get rain.
The front appears to be unstable, however, and could skirt L.A. entirely, Kittell said.
"If it forms, you could see heavier pockets of rain up to an inch," he said, noting the potential for thunderstorms.
But if the system moves just 50 miles south, L.A. might get no rain at all, Kittell said.
And if the storm front tracks farther north, L.A. could get close to an inch of rain.
"The track is very sensitive," Kittell said.
Cold weather is also expected, regardless of the amount of precipitation coming to the area.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health extended a cold-weather alert in anticipation of the dip in temperatures. Wind chill temperatures below freezing are expected.
“Children, the elderly, and people with disabilities or special medical needs are especially vulnerable during cold weather. Extra precaution should be taken to ensure they don’t get too cold when they are outside,” Dr. Muntu Davis, L.A. County's health officer, said in a statement.
Davis also urged people to not use stoves, barbecues or ovens to keep warm because their use poses a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
“There are places where people can go to stay warm, such as shelters or other public facilities," he said.
The alert is in effect for the county's mountain areas on Wednesday and Thursday. The alert is already in effect for the Antelope Valley.
After this storm rolls through, there's a chance rain could fall in the region again Saturday.
"But again, it doesn't look terribly intense, and there's uncertainty in projections," Kittell said.
Gusty northerly winds could develop late Saturday night. If rain falls over the weekend, less than a quarter-inch is expected.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.