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Just days after a heatwave baked Orange County with summer-like weather, a strong Pacific storm is expected to move into the region bringing heavy rainfall along the coast and snow in the local mountains. The storm is expected to be the most significant so far this season, bringing much-need rain to the parched landscape.

The National Weather Service forecast a slight chance of rain moving in late Sunday night with the bulk of the storm landing Monday along with a chance of thunder and lightning. Forecasters have placed Southern California in an excessive rainfall outlook risk area on Monday. Forecasters warned of possible street flooding and potential mudslides from heavy rainfall on the mountain burn scars.

According to the National Weather Service, the heaviest storm of the season could bring 1 to 1.5 inches of rain along the coast and in the valleys. Local mountains are expected to receive about 3 inches of snow with snow levels falling as low as 6,000 feet Monday night “with possible significant amounts above 7,000 feet,” forecasters said.

High elevation snow and gusty winds are expected through Tuesday morning, according to the National Weather Service. There will be a chance of thunderstorms that could bring heavy downpours and small hail Monday afternoon through Monday night before drier conditions prevail late Tuesday through Friday, the NWS said.

The rain is not expected to start falling until Sunday night — likely meaning Sunday afternoon red-carpet arrivals for the Oscars should be spared, although the arrivals line is covered just in case. But it will be noticeably cooler, with temperatures dropping between 10 and 15 degrees by Sunday.

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Stormy conditions are expected to clear out by late Tuesday, with temperatures again climbing by 5 to 10 degrees, according to the NWS.

The cool wet weather will put an official end to the heatwave that set new record highs in the Southland. A significant drop in temperatures is expected. Temperatures in Lake Forest reached 80 degrees Saturday, but by Monday the high in Lake Forest is expected to top out at 64.

Gusty winds over the coastal waters Saturday combined with rough, choppy seas could lead to conditions hazardous to small craft. A longer period swell may develop late Monday into Tuesday, resulting in combined seas close to 10 feet in the outer waters.

A longer period west swell at county beaches was likely to develop Monday night and continue through Tuesday. This could bring elevated surf of 6- 8 feet. The surf was expected to subside Tuesday night and Wednesday.

City News Service and Patch Staffer Paige Austin contributed to this report.

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