The National Weather Service has issued an advisory that a low-pressure system from the northwest may bring light to locally moderate precipitation to areas along and west of the local mountains with snow levels lowering to around 4,000 to 4,500 feet.
A few inches of snowfall in the mountains above 4,500 to 5,000 feet is expected, with 4 to 8 inches above the 6,500 foot level.
Strong gusty winds are expected in the mountains and deserts through the early evening with gusts hitting the 50 mph mark.
Frost is forecast for the valleys and upper deserts late Thursday night through early Friday morning, the weather service says.
Visibility in desert areas may be reduced at times from harsh winds blowing sand and dust.
The California Highway Patrol will be out in force this week on the lookout for hazards caused by the weather as well as holiday revelers. "The winter holidays can pose some of the toughest challenges," said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. "Inclement weather, holiday celebrations, and drivers in a hurry to get to their destination can make for a deadly combination. We want you to enjoy the season and remember that safety is a crucial element."
The CHP recommends drivers slow down when driving in inclement weather and be aware of the surroundings.
Hydroplaning is also a challenge when driving in wet weather. Hydroplaning is defined as an accumulation of water that causes a tire to lift from the road surface, losing traction.
It can occur unexpectedly whenever standing water is on the roadway.
"When the roads are wet and visibility is low, drivers need to slow down," said CHP Inland Division spokesman Mario Lopez. "The rain brings up oil and debris that have been set in the roads, making them slicker to drive on."