The thunderstorms that were expected late Friday night and early this morning mark the beginning of this year's rainy season in Orange County, officials said.
A dip in the jet stream that is paralleling the California coast was expected to bring scattered storms to the area, said Wes Etheredge, a meteorologist with WeatherData Inc., which provides forecasts for The Times.
"It is pretty much the start of things to come this winter," he said.
Cooler temperatures also are predicted, with lows in the upper 50s this morning and highs reaching only the upper 60s or low 70s this afternoon. Skies will be mostly clear, but the wind will kick up, reaching 25 mph in some areas, Etheredge said.
The wind will carry warm ocean air and heat up the county Sunday, sending highs to the mid-70s on the beach and the low to mid-80s inland, he said.
All the rain before this has been associated with hurricanes and tropical storms, Etheredge said. And there has been more rain than normal; the recording station in Santa Ana has seen 1.2 inches since July 1, compared with the usual total of 0.39 inch for that period.
None of Friday's expected rain came from Hurricane Pauline, which raked Mexico's Pacific coast before heading inland.
The rest of next week should be clear in Orange County, Etheredge said.