First Weekend of Spring to Be Warmer but Windy

Times Staff Writer

Weather forecasters Thursday predicted a sunny and warmer but windy weekend typical of early spring in Orange County.

Generally fair skies and seasonal temperatures on Wednesday, the first day of spring, gave way Thursday to haze and slightly cooler temperatures. A high-pressure system that moved into Southern California kicked up winds gusting to 30 m.p.h., said Stan Massey, of the National Weather Service. He said the condition is expected to prevail over the weekend, although temperatures will be slightly warmer.

"Northerly gusty winds always come with a high pressure, and that should continue for a while," Massey said. "This is typical March weather."

He said the weekend should be "seasonally warm," with temperatures ranging from the high-60s to the mid-70s and overnight lows in the low-50s.

High in Santa Ana

The high temperature in the county Thursday was 70 degrees, in Santa Ana.

The gusty winds should diminish slightly, to about 25 m.p.h, during the weekend, Massey said. Winds gusted to 50 m.p.h Thursday at the Mojave Airport, and a small-craft advisory warned of northwest winds to 30 knots in outer waters, from Point Conception to San Clemente Island.

Wind speeds reached 30 m.p.h. in mountain areas.

The slightly lower temperatures and hazy conditions Thursday did not discourage beach aficionados. Most of Orange County's beaches reported slightly larger crowds since spring began at 8:14 a.m. Wednesday.

Spring Breaks Ahead

"It was pretty cloudy and hazy out here. We never really got past 60 degrees today (officially, it was 63), but there were quite a few people out sunbathing . . . more than we normally get during the week," said Mitch White, a lifeguard at Newport Beach.

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