Warm Sunshine to Continue Through Midweek : But Forecasters Divided Whether Outlook for Super Bowl Is Cloudy or Clear

Times Staff Writer

Football fans have their choice of the Redskins or the Broncos for Super Bowl here next Sunday. And a week before game time, San Diegans also have their choice of weather forecasts.

The National Weather Service at Lindbergh Field said Saturday that its initial outlook for the game cannot rule out the possibility of rain. But WeatherData Inc., of Wichita, Kan., says decent weather and normal temperatures are its early pick. WeatherData is a private forecasting service that provides information to The Times.

According to the National Weather Service, today's warm but windy Santa Ana conditions will continue through midweek before giving way to a general increase in clouds and a possibility of rain by next weekend.

"It's still too early for definitive forecasts, but the long-range maps show us falling well within the rain possibility category, given the (values) we use to predict rain," forecaster Dick Stitt said.

Changes Could Occur

Stitt said, however, that the long-range maps do not take into account changes that could occur in developing weather patterns between now and next Sunday.

"There will be a general increase in clouds and particularly in coastal low cloudiness, since the (Santa Ana) high pressure will weaken and (be followed) by a general lowering of the jet stream track southward that can put us into the 'rain window' by bringing" storm systems over California, he said.

"We're not leaning toward any major storms but more toward the possibility of rain by the weekend," Stitt said. "But I hate to commit too much now given the fact that it is Super Bowl Sunday. If the (long-range trend) were the other way, I wouldn't hesitate to predict (good weather) for the game."

But WeatherData's Dan Bowman said the weakening of high pressure will allow a cold front to move through the area Thursday, bringing lower temperatures but little else in the way of inclement weather.

"If things go according to plan (based on present data), that will be past San Diego by the weekend, and my best guess is that there will be near- to above-normal temperatures and clear skies," Bowman said. "It doesn't look like any big storms although, eight days away, things could change drastically.

"But overall, I think we're in a pattern that usually doesn't change rapidly so I have reasonable confidence that there will be decent weather close to San Diego."

Both weather services, however, agree on the forecast for the next several days.

Sunny and warm weather is forecast today through the next several days, along with strong winds in mountain and canyon areas.

Increasing high pressure over the West Coast will bring clear skies through Wednesday but also strong northeast winds between 35 and 45 miles per hour in inland areas, occasionally gusting up to 60 miles per hour today, National Weather Service forecaster Dan Atkin said Saturday.

The weather service issued a high-wind watch for mountain areas and a wind advisory for canyon areas through tonight. A wind advisory will continue through Monday for mountain areas.

"They are not quite so strong as the winds of a couple of nights ago, but they will be moderately strong winds . . . especially in the mountain areas," Atkin said. Strong winds Friday hit San Diego's mountain areas with hurricane force, causing considerable damage.

Today's forecast calls for clear sunny skies, windy at times, with a high of 74 degrees and a low of 50 tonight along the coastal strip. Highs in the rest of the county are expected to range between 72 and 80 degrees. The Saturday high at Lindbergh Field reached 68 degrees.

Mountain areas today will have highs from 46 to 54 and lows from 26 to 34, with desert highs 66 to 74 and lows 36 to 44. Motorists in desert areas should be alert to blowing dust and sand today and Monday as a result of the high winds, which are expected to peak between 20 and 30 miles per hour in those areas.

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