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Showers Forecast on Heels of Disappointingly Dry February

Times Staff Writer

Showers are expected to be heavy at times today as a wet and unstable tropical air mass moves through Southern California, forecasters said Wednesday.

The National Weather Service concluded there was a 70% chance of rain today and a 30% chance of some parting showers Friday.

Meteorologist Rick Dittmann of WeatherData Inc., which provides forecasts for The Times, said the Southland should “get its share” of the “big surge of tropical moisture” headed toward the coast from near Hawaii. He said some spots in the coastal mountains could get more than two inches of rain.

The weather service foresaw rainfall amounts ranging up to half an inch in the northern coastal areas and up to .75 of an inch in the mountains, with snow above the 8,000-foot level today, lowering to 6,000 feet Friday.

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The subtropical mass was being drawn this way, Dittmann said, by a southern branch of the jet stream “skirting south and heading straight for California.”

Los Angeles high temperatures today should be in the low 60s, the weather service said. The Civic Center high on Wednesday was 62 degrees after an overnight low of 53. Relative humidity ranged from 81% to 58%.

As March began, the weather service pointed out that February, “usually considered the heart of the rainy season,” brought only 1.90 inches of rain to Los Angeles--mostly between the 2nd and 9th.

By Wednesday, the rainfall total for the season was 7.22 inches, compared to a normal of 11.16. Last year by March 1, the total was 8.99.

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Winter rains gradually decrease in March, the weather service said. The normal rainfall in the coastal and valley areas is two to three inches.


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