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Latest system brings little rain to Southern California

February 12, 2018

Gulls take flight at Surfrider Beach in Malibu, Calif., on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018. Forecasters say blustery winds bringing increased fire danger to Southern California could be followed by pockets of rain. The National Weather Service says a Santa Ana wind condition that developed Saturday night will continue through Sunday. (AP Photo/John Antczak)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It looked and felt like winter on Monday as clouds filled the sky and temperatures cooled in Southern California, but just about the only thing that fell was expectation for much rain in the drought-stricken region.

There were scattered sprinkles and a fleeting frosting of snow in the mountains but the low-pressure system proved to be weaker than predicted and rainfall forecasts were lowered to under a tenth of an inch (0.25 centimeter) in most areas to a quarter inch (0.64 centimeter) in the foothills and mountains.

That was good news for Santa Barbara County, where the community of Montecito is still cleaning up from a disastrous Jan. 9 debris flow from a wildfire burn scar and there’s concern it could happen again this winter.

“Presently, no evacuations are anticipated in areas impacted by debris flows or in burn areas,” a county statement said. “However, all area residents and businesses must monitor weather reports and emergency announcements.”

Elsewhere, the concern is a lack of precipitation.

Seasonal rainfall is running well below normal throughout Southern California and almost all the region is in moderate or severe drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. The parts that aren’t are classified as abnormally dry.

Downtown Los Angeles has recorded only 1.89 inches (4.8 centimeters) of rain since the start of the water year on Oct. 1. That’s 8.54 inches (21.7 centimeters) less than normal.

Daytime temperatures, however, were in the 60s (15 Celsius) on Monday. Much of the winter has brought many days of spring- or summerlike weather, sometimes with highs in the 80s.

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