Marine layer brings gray skies but little rain to L.A. area

A deep marine layer that has settled over parts of Southern California is producing some drizzle and a lot of gloom, but no measurable rain for the drought-stricken region, forecasters said Sunday.

The moisture layer "is giving us conditions reminiscent of May and June, when we have May gray and June gloom," said Ryan Kittle, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.


For some parts of the Southland, the cloudy conditions have brought some rain showers. San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties has seen some "legitimate rain," that produced about a quarter-inch of rain in some areas, Kittle said.

The showers have since stopped but are expected to pick back up later tonight, he said.

Meanwhile, a Pacific storm system spreading across Northern California this weekend is delivering a welcome drenching to some parts of the region, dumping copious amounts of rain on the coastal mountains north of San Francisco and several feet of snow on the Sierra Nevada.

More than 11 inches of rain had soaked one Marin County peak by Saturday afternoon, and another weather station in the coastal mountains recorded more than 7 inches of rain. Parts of Sonoma County received 7 to 9 inches, prompting authorities to issue flash flood warnings.

The weekend dousing should put a dent in the drought. But the state is so far behind in rainfall and snowfall that it would take many more storms to push precipitation levels back to normal.

"I don't think this is going to be a drought-buster," said Bob Benjamin, a National Weather Service forecaster in San Francisco. "But it's certainly going to diminish the deficit."

In Southern California, conditions are expected to clear by the beginning of the work week.

"Today will be the best chance we have for rain," Kittle said.

The area will experience a warming trend that is expected to start Tuesday and last through the end of the week, bringing temperatures up in the area to upper 70s and low 80s.