Winds Abate as Intense Storm Skirts Southland : Spotty Rain Recorded in Area; Catalina Visitors Stranded by Choppy Seas

Times Staff Writer

Fringe effects of an intense winter storm centered in eastern Nevada sent winds gusting to 40 m.p.h. along the coast and through the mountains of Southern California on Sunday, while isolated showers dampened streets and freeways . . . between patches of sunshine.

The storm is moving into the Rocky Mountains, meteorologists explained, and the Southland this morning was expected to be generally sunny with the northwest winds finally dying away to 20 m.p.h. by late afternoon and disappearing entirely overnight.

The wind made itself felt throughout the area, with gale warnings for west to northwest winds gusting to 40 knots and above over inner and outer coastal waters from Point Conception to the Mexican border and travelers advisories for strong winds in the mountains and deserts remaining in effect through the afternoon and into the evening.

No major damage was attributed to the wind, but authorities on Santa Catalina Island said about 1,200 visitors were forced to spend an extra night at Avalon because seas were too high for water taxis and cruise boats to be sure of safe passage from the island to Long Beach, San Pedro or Newport on Sunday afternoon. Sheriff's Deputy Robert Salisbury of the Avalon station said all were able to find overnight hotel accommodations and were expected to return this morning.

Sunday's high temperature at the Los Angeles Civic Center was 64 degrees, with relative humidity ranging between 31% and 86%. And the National Weather Service said today's temperature should be about the same.

Only .18 of an inch of rain fell in Central Los Angeles, bringing the season total to 7.20 inches, still more than five inches below normal.

Heaviest rainfall was reported at Big Bear Lake, where .94 of an inch fell overnight; in Campo, which received .86 of an inch, followed by Mt. Palomar, with .79; Mt. Wilson, .67; Alpine, .62; Ramona, .61; Escondido, .55; Beaumont, .34; La Mesa, .31; Monrovia and El Toro, .29; Lancaster, .27, and Riverside, .26.

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