Wet and Windy Storm Rolls Across State

A gusty, pre-St. Patrick's Day storm rolled across California Saturday afternoon, and forecasters said it could leave as much as an inch of rain on the Southland by the time it moves on Monday.

Heavy rains, rough surf and thundershowers, accompanied by winds of up to 40 m.p.h. and hail in some areas, were expected through tonight.

National Weather Service officials issued flash-flood watches for areas of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties scorched in last year's brush fires. Flood watches were also issued throughout Northern California, although no major problems were reported.

Temperatures Saturday at the Los Angeles Civic Center ranged from 49 to 62 degrees.

Strong winds and heavy snow cut visibility to almost zero in parts of the Sierra Nevada. As much as three feet of snow was predicted by Sunday in some areas, with snow levels ranging from a low of 2,000 feet in Northern California, 2,500 feet in central areas and 3,000 feet in the Southland.

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