Though low clouds and gloom have dominated San Diego's sky the past week and are expected to continue today, forecasters say the clouds will gradually dissipate over the holiday weekend, giving way to partly sunny skies Saturday and Sunday and a sunny Monday afternoon.
Beaches are supposed to be cloudy today, with temperatures reaching the upper 60s. By Monday, temperatures may hit the low 70s. Ocean temperature will remain near 65 degrees through Monday, with swells of 5 to 7 feet.
Because of a large swell that has moved in, Mission Beach lifeguard Chris Farrar warns swimmers to stay within guarded areas.
Farrar said the lifeguard staff has been beefed up for the holiday crowds. On the stretch of beach that runs from South Mission Beach to Pacific Beach, for example, 50,000 to 60,000 people are expected, he said. The forecast calls for coastal highs to reach 68 to 73 today, rising to 70 to 76 over the weekend, with overnight lows of 57 to 63.
Inland valleys are expected to have highs of 74 to 84 degrees today and Saturday, and 78 to 88 Sunday and Monday. Overnight lows will range from 55 to 60 through the weekend.
Highs in the mountains will fall between 80 and 86, with lows of 45 to 52.
Desert highs will reach 108 to 112 degrees today, dropping to 105-110 over the weekend, the forecast says. Overnight lows are to fall between 70 and 76 degrees.
Mountains and deserts will be fair through Saturday, with a slight chance of afternoon and evening thundershowers by Monday.
National Weather Service forecaster Wilbur Shigehara pointed out that Thursday was the last day of the 1987-88 rainfall season, and San Diego received above normal rainfall for the period.
Although most of the country is experiencing drought conditions, Shigehara said an unusual storm system this season brought 13.8 inches of rain to San Diego, contrasted with the usual 9.32 inches.
"Rainfall started quite normal during the summer of 1987, followed by substantial fall rains," Shigehara said. "The rains then slowed during the winter and concluded with heavy amounts in the middle of April."
The big surprise, he said, was the 3.71 inches of rain in April, contrasted with the normal 0.78 inches for that month.
"It was the second-wettest April dating back to 1850," he said. "The most rainfall in April was in 1926."