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Overcast Days, Drizzle Seen for Weekend

Times Staff Writer

Low morning clouds and occasional drizzle that kept coastal Southern California cool and damp through most of the week will probably keep it up through the weekend--with some gusty winds in the desert, just for flavor--the National Weather Service said Thursday.

The highs for Orange County will range from 67 to 73, with sunny afternoons, and lows of 54 to 62 with variable winds from the west of 8 to 16 m.p.h. in the late afternoon and evening.

Meteorologists blamed the weather on a low-pressure area about 400 miles to the east.

Weak Ridge Offshore

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That low, they explained, makes it possible for a rather weak ridge of high pressure offshore to keep pushing cool and moist sea air ashore in such quantities that the usual early morning cloudiness at times doesn’t burn away until mid-afternoon or later.

This keeps temperatures down, and humidity up.

High temperature in Santa Ana Thursday was 74 degrees, with relative humidity ranging from 90% in the early morning to 62% by early afternoon. The weather service said the next few days will be about the same, with a slight cooling trend.

Forecasters said beaches from Zuma to San Diego should be cool and overcast, with a little drizzle at times and moderate surf (in the two- to three-foot range), a sea breeze from 10 to 18 m.p.h., afternoon temperatures to the mid-60s and water temperature only a degree or two cooler.

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A small-craft advisory was in effect Thursday for northwest winds to 25 knots and gusts to 30 knots, with combined seas to eight feet in the offshore waters from Point Conception to San Clemente Island. And while the rough water was expected to calm down overnight, forecasters said there is a good chance that similar conditions might develop for the next day or two.

Seafarers who stay closer to shore, on the other hand, can expect west to southwest winds rising to 16 knots this afternoon, with southwest swells to three feet and low clouds with a chance of fog.

Mountain weekenders should see some fog and low clouds along the coastal slopes during the morning hours. But days should be sparkling and bright at resort altitudes, with highs in the 70s.

The weather service issued a travelers’ advisory Thursday afternoon and evening for west to southwest winds that could rise to 50 m.p.h. at times in the Antelope Valley and Mojave Desert. Forecasters warned that, while the wind should die down overnight, it can be expected to return in force each afternoon for the next few days.

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