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L.A. Basin Can Thank 'Hole' in Moisture for Sunny Day

October 29, 1987|TED THACKREY Jr. | Times Staff Writer

Warm, muggy tropical air moving through California on Wednesday scattered occasional showers and thundershowers over the deserts and mountains--and caused some flooding near San Francisco--but left the Los Angeles Basin dry and sunny for most of the day.

"Moisture," said Mike Smith, meteorologist-spokesman for WeatherData, a private consulting firm that provides forecasts for The Times, "is not a uniform mass--it has holes in it . . . and showers that were expected in Los Angeles went south and north of the basin."

Nonetheless, Smith said he expected some rain to fall overnight, and still more today.

"We always thought Thursday would be the main day for the showers," he said, "and I still think this is the case."

Showers Off the Coast

Radar showed isolated light rain showers off the coasts of Baja California and Southern California throughout the afternoon, and showers were reported in northeast San Bernardino County, in the mountains of Central California and east of Death Valley.

But the San Francisco Bay Area seemed to get the bulk of Wednesday's rain, with Oakland receiving 1.09 inches, Alameda 1.01 and San Francisco .90 of an inch.

At 3 p.m., the National Weather Service issued an urban flood statement for the Bay Area, warning of driving hazards due to overflowing gutters in San Mateo and Alameda counties, with predictions of continued brief, but violent, squalls throughout the night.

High temperature at Los Angeles Civic Center on Wednesday was 78 degrees, with relative humidity ranging from 54% to 81%.

Only 66 Overnight

The weather service said the overnight low of 66 degrees tied the record for the highest minimum temperature for the day, set in 1965.

The .01 of an inch of rain that fell downtown before dawn Wednesday raised the season total to .90 of an inch--.39 more than the amount that would be statistically normal for this point in the season, but still far below the 2.68 inches that had fallen by this time last year.

By late afternoon, .08 of an inch of rain had been recorded during the day at Mt. Wilson; .05 was reported at Lancaster; Monrovia, Point Mugu and Pasadena all had .02, and traces were recorded at Beaumont, Long Beach, Riverside and San Bernardino.

WeatherData and the weather service agreed that today should be a little cooler, with most temperatures in the Los Angeles Basin reaching the low to mid-70s.

Skies should remain cloudy through most of the day with the chance of rain estimated at about 60%, tapering off to a 20% chance of showers overnight, and fair skies expected on Friday.

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