Moist air from the ocean kept Southern California cool and partly cloudy Thursday, but the National Weather Service predicted generally clear skies and bright sunshine for the Easter weekend.
Increasing atmospheric pressure over Utah and Nevada, forecasters explained, should bring a partial return of the Santa Ana conditions that offered a spring preview of summer earlier this week.
This time, however, the afternoon winds from the desert should be gentler--giving way at sunset to sea breezes that should keep temperatures in the generally delightful range. There will be some low cloudiness during the early morning, especially near the ocean, and occasional high clouds spinning off a weakening Hawaiian storm system.
Santa Ana's 74 degrees was high for Orange County Thursday after an overnight low of 54. At the beaches, the high temperature reached only 64.
The high temperature at the Los Angeles Civic Center on Thursday was 76 degrees, with relative humidity ranging from 75% a few hours before dawn to 44% by mid-afternoon.
Mid-80s by Sunday
The weather service said it should be a degree or so warmer today and readings could rise to the mid-80s by Sunday.
Seashore visitors--and they were expected to fill most parking spaces well before noon each day of the weekend--can look for hazy sunshine today and Saturday, with afternoon temperatures in the low 70s by Sunday, water temperature holding below 60 degrees, and surf running 2 to 4 feet at 11-second intervals on most beaches from Zuma to San Diego, the weather service said.
Weekend seafarers who remain in the inner waters from Point Conception to the Mexican border should encounter 5- to 10-knot west-to-southwest winds during the afternoons and evenings, with southwest swells to 3 feet. Those who venture as far as San Clemente Island and 60 miles out should be prepared for north-to-northwest winds rising to 15 knots during the afternoons, with combined seas to 8 feet at times.
Raw Sewage Spills
In San Diego, raw sewage spilled into the popular San Diego recreation center of Sail Bay at the rate of 300 gallons per minute Thursday, forcing closure of that portion of Mission Bay for an estimated two weeks.
Saturday's San Diego Crew Classic will be relocated to East Mission Bay, officials said.
The flow, which began late Tuesday night when a sewer line broke in Pacific Beach, was reduced sharply after city workers installed a pump to bypass the break. City officials said they hope to stem the spillage entirely and to begin repairs today.
The forecast called for some high cloudiness with north-to-northeast winds to 25 m.p.h. and afternoon temperatures in the mid-70s today and Saturday at resort altitudes in the San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountains. Sierra visitors were told to expect a sunny weekend with temperatures in the upper 60s, dropping to near-freezing overnight.
Clearing in Deserts
Some high cloudiness in the deserts today and Saturday was expected to change to clear skies by Sunday, with northerly afternoon winds rising to 15 m.p.h. Afternoon temperatures will warm to 80 degrees in the high desert and 90 degrees in the low desert.
Arizona's mountains were expected to remain dry and warm, with the winds dying away overnight to leave skies clear and temperatures to the mid-70s. Desert areas of Arizona should experience temperatures in the lower 90s by Easter.
Las Vegas visitors can expect readings in the mid-80s under clear skies.
Weekend temperatures should range from the upper 60s to lower 70s around San Francisco Bay, with mostly fair skies.
Those spending the Easter holiday in Ensenada were advised to plan on occasional high cloudiness with a gradual warming trend, bringing temperatures to the upper 70s by Sunday.