A cold front now approaching the coast is expected to bring clouds, fog and cooler temperatures for the long holiday weekend in Southern California, but Santa Ana winds could be blowing again by Sunday, the National Weather Service said Thursday.
Thanksgiving Day high temperatures in Orange County ranged from 82 degrees in Santa Ana to 71 degrees in Newport Beach. El Toro's temperature peaked at 78 degrees and San Juan Capistrano's at 77, according to the weather service. Wednesday's overnight low was 38 degrees in San Juan Capistrano, while nighttime temperatures were in the middle to upper 40s elsewhere in the county.
Today's highs in Orange County should range from 67 to 73 degrees, according to the weather service. Saturday's temperatures are expected to be a few degrees cooler but could warm up Sunday.
The weak southern end of a cold front that was beginning to drift across the Pacific Northwest on Thursday afternoon is expected to pass through Southern California late today and Saturday, causing an increase in night and morning low clouds and fog, meteorologists explained.
However, that system was already losing its steam by the time it reached shore, while a high pressure area north of Hawaii was expected to move eastward and start building pressure today--resulting in a return of warm and sunny skies by Sunday, with the possibility of renewed Santa Anas.
Forecasters said beaches should be cool and cloudy today and Saturday, with surf running three to six feet in most places, air temperature rising to the mid-60s both days, water temperature only a degree or two cooler and sea breezes freshening to 15 or 16 m.p.h. in the afternoons. Warmer air temperature and about the same surf conditions were forecast for Sunday.
Holiday seafarers were assured of mild to moderate conditions for inshore waters from Point Conception to the Mexican border, where southwest winds were expected to hold at about 12 knots in the afternoon with three to four feet of westerly swell. Farther out, southeast winds were expected to rise to 20 knots at times during the afternoon, with seas reaching seven to 10 feet shortly before sunset.
A traveler's advisory was in effect for today in the northern Sierra, where two to four inches of snow were expected at the 5,500-foot level around Tahoe.
Closer to home, forecasters said there was a "slight" chance of rain showers--but no snow--in the San Bernardino and San Gabriel Mountains today and Saturday, with southwest winds rising to 30 m.p.h. at times and temperatures ranging from the upper 40s and lower 50s in the afternoons to freezing and below overnight at resort levels.
Variable high cloudiness was forecast for the deserts today and Saturday, with southwest winds gusting to 30 m.p.h. and afternoon temperatures from the high 60s in the high desert to the upper 70s in the low desert. By Sunday, however, skies were expected to be clear again, though temperatures were likely to be about the same as earlier in the weekend.
Fair in Vegas
Arizona's weekend will start off sunny and a little warmer (to the mid-50s in the mountains and the upper 70s in the desert) with winds to 15 m.p.h. Not much change was expected until early next week.