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Southland Might Miss Worst of Rainstorms

From a Times Staff Writer

The powerful series of storms expected to batter Northern California today and New Year’s Day may peter out by the time the system moves into the Los Angeles region, forecasters said Monday.

The chance of rain today and Wednesday is 40%, meteorologists said, so Tournament of Roses officials remained optimistic.

“The Los Angeles area will be at the southern fringe of the storms,” said Curtis Brack, a meteorologist for WeatherData Inc., which provides forecasts for The Times. “Even if the rain does reach Los Angeles, it will not be continuous, heavy rain. It will be more like scattered showers.”

One storm moving in from Hawaii and down the West Coast could hit Southern California early this morning and the other may arrive sometime early Wednesday morning, Brack said.

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Less than an inch of rain is expected.

“In the high elevations of Southern California, such as the San Gabriel Mountains and the mountains north of there, there could be some heavy rainfall,” Brack said. “But the lower elevations shouldn’t be too bad.”

For those who camp out the night before the Rose Parade to secure a good seat for the spectacle, the bad news is that it could be a long damp night. The good news is the overnight temperatures should be in the mid-50s, more than 10 degrees higher than usual. The heavy cloud cover will prevent the overnight temperatures from dropping to the 40s.

In Malibu, officials and residents hope new vegetation in the fire-charred hillside areas will help control mudslides.

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But workers will be standing by today and Wednesday in case heavy rainfall hits the area and creates problems, authorities said.

“There has been some regrowth after the fires and that helps,” said Sarah Maurice, a spokeswoman for the city of Malibu. “So we’re in better shape than we were right after the fires in 1993. But the root systems for the vegetation on the hillsides are not substantial at this point, so heavy rains could cause problems.”


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