Unseasonably warm temperatures in the Los Angeles area are expected to drop sharply midweek as a new weather system blows in.

"Basically, we're starting out with temperatures well above normal," said meteorologist David Sweet of the National Weather Service in Oxnard, adding that highs Monday were expected to be in the upper 70s to mid-80s.

Temperatures will dip slightly on Tuesday, then, Sweet said, "we're going to see a dramatic change in the weather by Wednesday, with highs in the lower to mid-60s." There will be a 40% chance of rain on Thursday as temperatures hover around 60 degrees, the Los Angeles Times reported.

After the system moves out of the area, temperatures on Friday will start edging up again, with highs in the lower to mid-60s. 

Los Angeles is on its way to having the driest calendar year on record.

The current record stands at 4.08 inches in downtown L.A., as measured in 1953 and 1947. So far this year, downtown has received only 3.49 inches of rain, Sweet said.

"We do have the possibility of 2013 being the driest calendar year since records began in 1877," he said.

-- Ari Bloomekatz, Los Angeles Times

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ari.bloomekatz@latimes.com