Rain, Hail, Snow Hit Scattered Areas

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Scattered rain, hail and snow peppered a wide area of the Southland on Monday afternoon as a slow-moving storm system moved through the region.

Parts of the San Bernardino Mountains recorded up to 10 inches of snow in a matter of hours, authorities said.

Light snow fell in the Grapevine area on Interstate 5 and on California 14 in the Antelope Valley and a dusting could be seen on the San Gabriel Mountains from the Civic Center.

In addition to snow, the system dumped short-lived rain and hail showers over the foothills and valleys. Rain also was reported in the downtown area, Long Beach and Santa Ana.

While the length and severity of the rainfall varied, forecasters predicted as much as half an inch of rain in the heavier showers, along with the possibility of hail and gusty winds to 40 m.p.h.

The weather created serious traffic problems in some areas. The Simi Valley Freeway was closed for more than three hours after a tractor trailer carrying tile overturned on wet pavement about 2:45 p.m. One person was injured.

"Traffic is just screwed up all over on every one of our freeways," said California Highway Patrol spokesman Jim Wills. "The accident rate is higher than normal."

Also, a water spout was reported near Dana Point just before 5:30 p.m. and moved southwest before dissipating 10 minutes later, the National Weather Service said.

Agriculture officials canceled Monday night's malathion spraying over 47 square miles of the San Fernando Valley because of the rain.

Meteorologist Rick Dittmann of WeatherData Inc., which provides forecasts for The Times, said the storm was centered in the northwest, over northern Nevada and Idaho.

" But there was a trough of low pressure that has moved into Southern California," he said. "The combination of the two brought in cold air that, with the sunshine and moisture we had, was able to trigger the showers."

Dittmann said the showers will blow themselves out, making for "a pretty nice Tuesday."

Forecasters predicted sunny skies and warmer weather for most of the area today.

Highs are expected to be in the low to mid-60s. Monday's Civic Center high reached 59.

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