The Southland Weather : Fog, Clouds on Tap for Weekend

Times Staff Writer

An onshore flow of air from the ocean pushed more fog and low clouds into coastal areas of Southern California Thursday, and the National Weather Service said that might remain the pattern for the whole weekend.

A rather weak high-pressure zone building overnight along the coast could cause the skies to clear earlier today, forecasters said. But by Saturday, a series of storms will begin passing through the northern and central parts of the state, which means increasing cloudiness and cooler temperatures to the south.

Temperatures should peak somewhere between 63 degrees and 75 degrees today in Orange County, with lows in the 50s, according to the weather service. Orange County will have no reprieve from the considerable cloudiness predicted for the weekend, and there is a chance of rain Monday, a spokeswoman said.

High temperature in Santa Ana Thursday was 67 degrees, while the mercury only reached 63 in Newport Beach and 60 in Dana Point. The overnight low was 56 degrees in those communities.

High temperature at Los Angeles Civic Center Thursday was 67 degrees, with relative humidity ranging from 68% to a sopping 90%, and the weather service said it should be six or seven degrees warmer today, before dropping back into the upper 60s on Saturday.

Forecasters said Ventura County and points north stand a 40% chance of rain on Saturday or Sunday.

Moderate weekend surf conditions were forecast, with waves running three to four feet at 12-second intervals on most beaches and only four or five degrees difference between water and air temperature by midafternoon.

Locally, dense night and early morning fog was expected to make boating operations hazardous until midmorning, after which inshore waters from Point Conception to the Mexican border should find southwest to west winds in the 8- to 16-knot range. Northwest winds to 18 knots were forecast for outer waters, where combined seas may rise to eight feet.

Southern California's mountain resorts stand a chance for a little rain by Saturday night or Sunday, the weather service said, with lows dropping below the freezing mark overnight, while Sierra visitors were told to prepare for locally heavy rains beginning tonight and diminishing Saturday, as the first of the incoming storms passes. Forecasters said the snow level could drop to 6,000 feet or below at times.

Southwest winds gusting to 15 m.p.h., with a chance of showers by Sunday night or Monday, were predicted for the high desert, where highs today in the upper 70s were expected to drop to the 60s by Saturday.

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