A fast-moving cold front brought lower temperatures and a sprinkling of rain to Orange County Tuesday, but clear and sunny skies are predicted for the Southland for the rest of the week.
Forecasters said the low-pressure system that left the county under a steady drizzle and low, gray clouds was expected to move east out the state by early Wednesday, ushering in warmer temperatures and sunshine.
Although the rain fell lightly on most parts of Orange County, it triggered the predictable rash of fender-benders and traffic snarls on the major freeways and heavily traveled surface roads.
It was chillier than normal Tuesday morning, with a low of 46 reported in San Juan Capistrano. El Toro had a low of 49, the mercury dipped to 52 in Santa Ana and 54 in Newport Beach.
The hottest temperature recorded in the county on Tuesday came in Santa Ana, where it was 67, four degrees below the seasonal average. It was 63 in Newport Beach, 65 in San Juan Capistrano and a chilly 60 in El Toro.
"The low-pressure system and cold front drew in a little more moisture than anticipated and took a little more southerly track than we expected," said meteorologist Mike Smith of WeatherData, which provides forecasts for The Times.
"But skies should clear off Wednesday and especially Thursday should be a very nice day."
Rainfall was minimal across the county on Tuesday, with only traces recorded in Newport Beach and San Juan Capistrano and .02 of an inch in El Toro and .01 of an inch in Santa Ana.
Smith said Wednesday's highs should hit the upper 60s and low 70s. By Thursday it will be in the upper 70s under clear sunny skies.