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Expected storm fails to deliver the goods

The Southland needs a drenching but gets only showers. Snow level dips briefly to 4,000 feet.

December 17, 2006|Doug Smith | Times Staff Writer

A cold Pacific storm faltered over Southern California on Saturday evening, dropping scattered showers and brushing the mountains with snow but falling far short of the deluge predicted early last week.

"It just fizzled out," said National Weather Service forecaster Curt Kaplan.

Early last week, forecasters were expecting up to 2 inches of rain, but they were backpedaling by Thursday.

Showers Saturday afternoon revived hopes for a much-needed drenching. But as the storm moved through by early evening, only about a tenth of an inch had fallen in some areas and up to half an inch in the mountains.

"It's really disappointing," Kaplan said. "It's going to be real cold, though."

The cold front brought several inches of snow as low as 4,000 feet in the San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountains.

Three inches of fresh snow had fallen at Big Bear by early evening, said Philip Gonsalves, forecaster for the National Weather Service in San Diego, which covers the Inland Empire.

Gonsalves said he expected as much as 7 inches in some areas, although it was expected to melt quickly below 6,000 feet.

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doug.smith@latimes.com

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