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Storms Could Bring Peril to Burn Areas

February 13, 1986|TED THACKREY JR | Times Staff Writer

A procession of storms is marching across the Pacific, fully armed with the kind of rains that could mean real trouble in the parts of Southern California left unprotected by last summer's brush fires, the National Weather Service said Wednesday.

The first of those storms was expected overnight.

Forecasters estimated the chance of rain at "near 100%" in the Los Angeles Basin and posted flash-flood watches for the burn areas in Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.

Meteorologists said there could be from two to four inches of rain in some places Wednesday night and this morning and advised anyone living below a burned hillside to be ready to "move to a safer location immediately," without waiting for formal evacuation orders if rains become heavy in the area.

Some fast-moving air was forecast too. Travelers advisories were in effect for south winds gusting to 40 m.p.h. at times in the mountains, where the snow level was expected to drop below 5,000 feet overnight.

Surf was expected to rise to six feet at south-facing beaches.

By late Wednesday afternoon, rain was reported at Santa Barbara, Point Conception, in the Antelope Valley and Death Valley and in the Tehachapi and San Gabriel mountains.

The weather service attributed this sudden reappearance of the "normal" Southern California winter storm pattern to a shift of the jet stream. Upper-level winds across the Pacific, meteorologists explained, have become more westerly and the jet stream is now pointed directly at the Southland, with at least two more storms lined up at sea waiting their turn to turn the skies gray and the ground muddy.

High temperature at Los Angeles Civic Center on Wednesday was 61 degrees, with relative humidity ranging from 51% to 69%, and the forecast called for about the same temperature this afternoon, after an overnight low in the mid-50s.

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