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Storms wash out roads, prompt flash-flood watches

A second day of scattered thunderstorms sacked Southern California on Saturday, washing out roads in Ventura County and prompting flash-flood watches in parts of the San Gabriel Mountains and the Antelope Valley.

The worst of the storms hovered over the Los Padres National Forest, where flooding and mudslides stranded at least one vehicle on California 33 and prompted the California Highway Patrol to shut down the road for several hours.

Other isolated storms popped up over the Santa Monica Mountains, the Thousand Oaks area and parts of the Inland Empire, said Rich Thompson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. As of 6:30 p.m. Saturday, the most severe thunderstorms had moved to the San Bernardino region, he said.

Thompson blamed the weather in part on the hot daytime temperatures, which he said destabilize the atmosphere and allow storms to form. He said he expected conditions to ease Sunday, although there may be scattered showers in the mountain and desert areas.

The coming week probably will bring cooler temperatures, nothing like last week's record-breaking highs, Thompson said. "It's going to be sweater weather," he said.

-- Kate Linthicum

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