A spring storm is expected to strike Southern California on Saturday morning, bringing lightning, gusty winds and up to an inch of rain in some foothill communities, forecasters said Thursday. The storm is not expected to pass until after noon on Easter Sunday.
“It’s potentially a very strong storm,” said Pat Cooper, a meteorologist with WeatherData Inc., the firm that provides forecasts for The Times.
“We don’t yet know exactly how strong, but we know it’s going to hit Saturday morning.”
There may be some lingering showers Sunday morning, with general clearing not expected until sometime in the afternoon, Cooper said.
“It’s not going to be the most beautiful Easter, I’m afraid,” she said.
Rainfall could approach 2 inches in some mountain communities, and snow is expected above 6,000 feet.
Some drizzle is expected this morning from an onshore flow prompted by the passing of a smaller weather front through Northern California. The drizzle should abate during the afternoon. The new storm, which was born in the Northern Pacific, is expected to arrive sometime before dawn Saturday.
The high readings for Thursday in Orange County were 76 in Irvine, 69 in Santa Ana and in San Juan Capistrano, 67 in El Toro and 60 in Newport Beach.
Cloudy skies were forecast for this morning, with some local drizzle, clearing to partly cloudy in the afternoon with highs in the mid 60s for Orange County, according to the National Weather Service.
The weekend forecast probably won’t please beach-goers, who have been basking in several days of warm weather. Parking lots along Orange County beaches were filled by 11 a.m. throughout the week as students on spring break took advantage of the sunshine.
For those with travel plans this weekend, a spokesman at John Wayne Airport said travelers should have no trouble getting in and out of the airport, where traffic was expected to be light and parking spaces abundant.
The northern parts of the state are expected to be similarly wet and cool today and Saturday, with predictions for most areas calling for rain and high temperatures in the 40s and 50s and lows in the 20s and 30s.
The forecast for Southern California mountain areas called for partly cloudy skies today with rain becoming likely in the northern areas late in the day. The snow level is expected to drop to 6,000 feet Saturday. Resort highs in the 50s were predicted for today.
The desert areas may also get some rain. The northern and southern deserts can expect cloudy skies by tonight. Highs in the 60s are predicted for the Owens Valley. Forecasts for the high desert call for highs in the 70s; those for the low desert for highs in the low and mid 80s.