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Ventura County

Weather Forecast for Today Is All Wet

Climate: More heavy rain is expected to roll through the county, with another big storm predicted for next week.

November 29, 2001|TIMOTHY HUGHES | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The second storm in less than a week is expected to bring rain to Ventura County today, and a third front should hit the area by Monday, forecasters said.

The storm is expected to drop about an inch of rain along the coast and as much as 3 inches in some foothill areas before it clears after 8 p.m., said Stuart Seto of the National Weather Service's Oxnard office.

While farmers across the county are welcoming the early season soakings, officers with the California Highway Patrol are gearing up for the next storm.

Saturday's downpour contributed to several fatalities on Ventura County roadways.

"We will be putting a couple of extra units on the road because we will need all the help we can get," Officer Dodd Stalworthy said.

Saturday's storm dumped more than an inch of rain in Ventura County and contributed to three traffic deaths on highways near Ojai, Santa Paula and Piru. Seven people died in separate accidents over the Thanksgiving weekend, making it one of the deadliest holiday periods in more than a decade.

So far, most reporting locations in Ventura County have recorded above-normal rainfall totals for the season so far.

The Ventura County Government Center has received 2.98 inches of rain, up from the normal total of 2.09 inches. Santa Paula has recorded 3.55 inches of rain, up from the normal 2.55 inches for late November.

Oxnard strawberry farmer Mike Conroy said the rain has done little to hurt his crops.

"Outside of that half hour where it really came down [Saturday], it's been beneficial to us," Conroy said. "As long as nothing goes under water, we're fine. Nobody is up in arms about it yet."

Richard Pidduck, who grows avocados and lemons in Santa Paula, said he hasn't had to turn on his field fans so far.

"I'm not that concerned," said Pidduck, who owns Santa Paula Creek Ranch. "Getting a cool rain is terrific. Tree-crop growers love it."

Some scattered light showers could spatter Ventura County this morning, Seto said, but the brunt of today's storm probably won't arrive until the early afternoon.

He said cool gusty winds of up to 25 mph will accompany the storm. Highs will be about 60, with lows in the high 30s and low 40s, he said.

No precipitation is expected Friday, Saturday or Sunday, but more rain is forecast for Monday as the third storm system moves onshore.

Times staff writer Eric Malnic contributed to this report.

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