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Brrrr! State Catches a Cold

Times Staff Writer

A winter storm dumped rain and snow across the state, offering skiers and snowboarders from Southern California some of the best conditions so far in an unusually dry season and raising the possibility of flash floods in areas burned by recent wildfires.

The snowfall coincided with Presidents Day weekend, which rivals Thanksgiving and Christmas as one of the busiest weekends for ski resorts.

The storm had brought 18 inches of new snow to Mammoth Mountain Ski Area as of Saturday evening, with another foot expected in the next 24 hours. The temperature at Mammoth was a chilly 15 degrees at nightfall, area officials said.

Farther south, the Bear Mountain and Snow Summit resorts in the Big Bear area that so far had received a scant 9 inches of snow this season were reporting 4 inches of new snow and more on the way.

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The National Weather Service issued a winter snow watch for the mountains through Saturday night.

Heavy rain was falling elsewhere, leading to a flash flood and debris advisory until this morning in some areas, including the Topanga burn area in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, the Harvard burn area above Burbank, the Tovey burn area in the Antelope Valley, and the School burn area in southern Riverside County.

A large storm system over the Bay Area was sending a cold front down the coast, generating the wet weather. Rain moving south was expected to reach Ventura and Los Angeles counties late Saturday and this morning, clearing by late this afternoon, with sunshine returning Monday.

Temperatures were expected to reach the 50s in the Los Angeles area, with lows in the 30s and 40s. For Presidents Day through next Saturday, the weather service is predicting highs around 60 and lows in the 40s and lower 50s.

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On the coast, a flurry of waterspout sightings Saturday prompted the weather service to warn that more spouts were possible from Point Mugu south to San Mateo Point, but the sightings had ended by evening.


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