The tail of an eastbound storm turned out to be wetter than forecasters had thought as it passed over early Thursday, dampening Orange County with rain and setting the stage for more showers over the weekend.
There was hardly enough precipitation to measure, but the drizzles and drops were sufficient to slicken roads and bring out the rain gear.
And, although a reprieve from the rain is forecast for today, the wet weather can be expected to return over the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.
A new storm, gathering strength as it crawled down from the Gulf of Alaska, is expected to turn inland over the north-central section of the state Sunday morning. It should be close enough by Saturday afternoon, however, to give Southern California a 30% chance of rain.
The odds for more rain will increase considerably Saturday night and Sunday, said the National Weather Service, but Monday and Tuesday should be mostly clear.
On Thursday, as the first storm left a soggy blanket of rain and snow across Northern California and the Sierra Nevada, Huntington Beach and Santiago Peak recorded .11 inch of rain and Oak Flat, near Prado Dam, received .03 inch, according to Greg Cunningham, hydrographer with the Orange County Environmental Management Agency.
Except for .02 inch measured at the Santa Ana fire station, those were the only places in Orange County with measurable rainfall Thursday, Cunningham said.
Precipitation is measured from July 1 through June 30. Thursday's rain brought the total since June 30, 1984, to 10.45 inches in Santa Ana, above last year's 8.54 inches, Cunningham said. Santa Ana's average annual rainfall is 10.19 inches, he said.
At Santiago Peak, one of the county's wettest spots, the total to date is 23.23 inches, slightly below last year's 26.17 inches and almost in line with the average for the mountain, 24.1 inches, Cunningham said.
Downtown Los Angeles received .09 inch of rain Thursday, after the .04 inch that fell there Wednesday. It brought the season's total at Civic Center to 11.43, just slightly below the 11.70 inches that is considered normal for the period.
Forecast for Today
Today is expected to be variably cloudy, with a high of about 65 degrees. Thursday's high was 63, the same as in Los Angeles, and the overnight low was 43. In Newport Beach and Dana Point, the mercury reached 60 degrees, according to the Harbor Patrol.
Temperatures should be in the low 60s during the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.
Northern California was threatened with another round of thundershowers and snow today, after being hit with plenty of both on Wednesday. Nearly a foot of snow fell in six hours in the Lake Tahoe area, and there was some snow even in the San Francisco Bay Area.
With the new weather system headed this way, Southern California mountain areas are apt to have increasing cloudiness late today, with a chance of rain Saturday afternoon and Sunday, and snow down to 5,000-foot elevations by Sunday. High temperatures at resorts should be between 38 and 46 degrees today, and only 34 to 38 on Saturday. By Sunday, it should begin to warm slightly.
Desert skies will be variably cloudy through Sunday, with a aslight chance of showers in the northern sections. There will be gusty winds on Sunday. High temperatures in the upper desert will be 50 to 58 today, warming by Sunday to 58 to 68. Lower deserts will have highs of 68 to 74 today, warming on Sunday to a range of 68 to 78.
On the ocean, the inner waters will have light, variable winds, becoming 10 to 16 knots late today. Outer waters should have south to southeast winds of 12 to 18 knots, and combined seas of 5 to 10 feet.
Surf should be 2 to 3 feet, from Zuma Beach to Mission Beach, today and Saturday.