Heat Wave Flattened by Wall of Cold Air--Southland Dampened

Times Staff Writer

Southern California’s heat wave ran into a wall of cold air Tuesday, and the National Weather Service said the skies should stay cloudy--and just a bit damp--for the next day or so.

Motorists and pedestrians reported a few misty drops of rain here and there in the Los Angeles area Tuesday morning, with light predawn showers in Hollywood and West Los Angeles, occasional local drizzle in the San Fernando Valley and barely perceptible sprinkles along the coast shortly before noon.

The Weather Service said .04 of an inch of rain fell during the day at Los Angeles International Airport and .01 at Santa Monica; traces were recorded in Woodland Hills, Long Beach, Point Loma, Poway and Alpine.

Forecasters said it might be wetter today.

High at Los Angeles Civic Center on Tuesday was 72, with relative humidity ranging from 67% to 81%, and the Weather Service said it should be about the same today--with a 20% chance of showers this morning.

Meteorologists blamed the sudden change from hot, sunny skies to cool, overcast ones on a high-altitude low-pressure area centered about 100 miles south of Cape Mendocino.


That center is expected to move southeast--it should be right over Southern California by this morning--the Weather Service said, and the air mass associated with it is moist and unstable enough to keep things cloudy and damp until later in the week.

If showers do occur, however, they should be very light, with total rainfall amounting to less than .10 of an inch, according to forecasters, who said the storm system should be moving eastward into the central and southern Rockies by Thursday.

Meanwhile, two tropical storms, called Rick and Pauline, were generating waves that kept surf up along most beaches, with average waves to 3 feet and occasional 4-foot sets.

West winds gusting to 25 m.p.h. were reported in the high and low deserts Tuesday, and forecasters said there is a slight chance of showers today, with variable cloudiness and west to southwest winds rising to 30 m.p.h. at times.

Mountains should be mostly cloudy, the Weather Service said, with a chance of showers and southerly winds to 25 m.p.h.