Heat Meets Cold, Mercury Falls

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.

The Weather Service reported not a drop of rain in Orange County, but motorists, pedestrians and residents felt a few sprinkles here and there. The Los Angeles area also was dampened Tuesday morning.

Forecasters said it might be wetter today.

The high temperature in Santa Ana Tuesday was 79, but the Weather Service said it was likely to be cooler today, with the high around 70. Along the coast, the forecast was for a low of 62, a high of 67 and a 20% chance of rain during the day.

Meteorologists blamed the sudden change from hot, sunny skies to cool and overcast 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--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.