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The Weather : Southland Skies Likely to Brighten

February 03, 1988|BRAD HANSON | Times Staff Writer

Brighter skies and slightly warmer temperatures were expected today following the moderate showers that deposited more than half an inch of rain on Orange County before moving east Tuesday afternoon.

But another storm front spotted over the Pacific Ocean may bring a bit more rain to the area tonight, according to Mike Smith, a meteorologist with WeatherData Inc., which provides forecasts for The Times.

Accidents Slow Traffic

"There is a weak storm system between Southern California and Hawaii that holds a slight chance of rain for Wednesday night," Smith said. "But at this point I don't think it will be strong enough to cause anything more than a few clouds in the area," he said.

The rain helped to slow Orange County traffic by playing a part in at least two accidents.

The California Highway Patrol issued a SigAlert, or traffic advisory, for southbound Newport Boulevard after a truck driver lost control of his rig on the wet pavement in Costa Mesa. The driver, Silvestre Torres, 31, of Anaheim, skidded while turning off Newport at 17th Street, according to CHP spokesman Paul Caldwell.

Cleanup after the accident was delayed when both fuel tanks on the truck were ruptured as a tow truck attempted to winch the disabled rig, Caldwell said. More than 300 gallons of diesel fuel were spilled onto the roadway, tying up traffic until about 10:30 a.m., he said.

In another incident, a truck filled with 30,000 pounds of frozen fish and meat overturned on the shoulder of the southbound San Diego Freeway near Bolsa Avenue in Westminster when a car reportedly pulled in front of the truck. The truck driver, Teodulo Urbina, 46, of Inglewood, was not hurt, according to CHP spokesman Bruce Mulligan.

The southern part of the county received the the most rain, which began falling late Monday night. While San Juan Capistrano reported more than 1.06 inches of rain in the 24 hours ending at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, the clouds reaching Villa Park dropped only .51 of an inch.

With the .79 inches of rain reported in Santa Ana on Tuesday, the city's total rainfall for the year was brought up to 8.02 inches, well ahead of the 4.56 inches of rainfall recorded by this time last year. The average annual rainfall for the period in Santa Ana is 7.05 inches.

In the mountains, the rain turned to snow well below the 5,000-foot level. At the Mountain High and Snow Summit ski resorts, more than four inches of fresh snow were reported by mid-afternoon.

Smith said high temperatures today should be about 60 degrees, with scattered clouds and light winds.

For Thursday, Smith predicted breezy, sunny skies and a high temperature of 65. On Friday and Saturday, highs should range between 65 and 70 degrees, he said.

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