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Sunshine, Warmer Temperatures Forecast for This Weekend

March 09, 2000

Forecasters say Southern California will experience a major change in the weather this weekend, with warm, mostly sunny days replacing the damp gloom of the past few weeks.

Stacey Johnstone, a meteorologist with WeatherData Inc., said a ridge of high pressure will build in along the West Coast this afternoon, deflecting a continuing series of storms well north of the Los Angeles area.

"It should be really nice in Los Angeles by Friday morning," she said. "Skies will be clear, except for a few high clouds, and the high temperatures should range from the high 60s to the low 70s."

Similar weather is expected Saturday, Sunday and Monday, she said, with no sign of rain until the middle of next week, at the earliest.

"That high-pressure ridge is pretty strong," she said. It doesn't look like anything is going to break that down soon."

The weather here during November, December and January--the first three months of what is normally Southern California's rainy season--were unusually dry. Meteorologists say that probably was due, at least in part, to a continuing La Nina, the oceanic and meteorological counterpoint to the drenching El Nino during the winter of 1997-1998.

But the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says La Nina is beginning to weaken, and perhaps because of that, it rained so much in February and during the first week of March.

In downtown Los Angeles, the rainfall total for the meteorological season, which runs from July 1 through June 30, reached 10.07 inches by nightfall Wednesday. That's only about 1 2/3 inches less than the normal season's total for the date of 11.71 inches.

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