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It Should Stay Mild; on the Other Hand . . .

March 01, 1985|STEVE EMMONS and JACK JONES | Times Staff Writers

The unwintery weather that settled onto Orange County this week should continue, offering another unseasonably mild weekend.

The National Weather Service said rain could return, although forecasters stopped short of actually predicting a storm.

A storm from the Gulf of Alaska is expected to move over Idaho and Utah during the weekend, bringing Southern California cool, cloudy days--and a slight possibility of showers Saturday afternoon and evening, the National Weather Service said Thursday.

The forecasters stressed, however, that they do not really expect any rain here, unless the storm develops a little farther west than they think it will. A second storm may arrive by Tuesday, however, the weather service said.

Low Morning Clouds

The official forecast for Orange County was low morning clouds today but sunny weather otherwise until Saturday. Then the clouds should take over, partially clearing by afternoon in the south county. High temperatures were expected to hit the low to middle 60s, perhaps as low as 58 along the south coast Saturday.

Strong gusty winds were predicted for the mountains and deserts. High temperatures from 52 to 62 were expected in mountain resort areas today, 62 to 72 in the upper deserts and 75 to 84 in lower deserts.

Along the shore today and Saturday, surf is expected to be 2 to 3 feet from Zuma Beach to Mission Beach.

Westerly Winds

Offshore, west to southwest winds of 12 to 18 knots should blow over inner waters from Point Conception to San Clemente Island and the Mexican border this afternoon and evening.

Over the outer waters from Point Conception to San Clemente and out 60 miles, west to northwest winds of 8 to 15 knots should become northwest at 12 to 18 knots this afternoon and evening. Combined seas will be 4 to 8 feet.

As February departed, forecasters predicted "extremely variable weather" for Southern California in March, according to weather service specialist David Cooper. He predicted decreasing rains and "rapid changes from cool conditions to hot and dry."

Strong Winds Typical

He pointed out that strong winds often occur during the month and that "blowing sand is a problem in some parts of the deserts."

Cooper said rains normally occur only on four to seven days of March in the coastal and mountain areas and on only two to five days in the deserts.

Total rainfall for the month is likely to range from less than .25 of an inch in the low deserts to more than 6 inches in the mountains. Normal March rainfall in the coastal and valley areas is 2 to 3 inches. Mountains frequently get a foot or so of new snow above the 5,000-foot level during the month.

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