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Big change in weather pattern coming this weekend

Posted February 7, 2011, 11:04 PM.

Wet weather, absent for much of the last month and a half, looks poised to return to Southern California's inland valleys by early next week, according to the most recent weather model forecasts.

Light rain could arrive as early as Monday, and a potentially stronger storm by the middle of the week, according to the National Weather Service.

A large ridge of high pressure over the Pacific Ocean has been blocking storms from entering the region for weeks, funneling them instead over the Pacific Northwest, where they've been dropping down across the rest of the country.

The blocking ridge will finally be breaking down, and that will bring on a series of storms. The second half of next week could end up being a wet period.

An unrelated system passing by mostly to the northeast will come through this Tuesday, but it's moisture starved and a cutoff low. The net effect should be cloudier skies, a deeper marine layer and perhaps some drizzle.

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