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Weekend storm the biggest of the year, weather experts say

March 26, 2012 | 12:57 pm

The storm that hit Southern California over the weekend was the biggest of 2012, weather officials said Monday.

Forecasters for the National Weather Service said that Sunday’s storm dumped about .91 inches of rain on downtown L.A., compared to the .76 inches that arrived the week before.

In total, the coast received about 1 inch to 1 1/2 inches of rain; some mountain areas got as much as 3 inches, said Stuart Seto, a weather specialist with the National Weather Service.

Because rainfall tends to drop off sharply in April, the Sunday storm could be the biggest region gets for a while, Seto said.    

“We’ll see low-pressure areas approaching, but we’ll see very little rain with them,” Seto said. “There’s nothing in the next week.”

Seto said the Sunday storm moved slowly through Los Angeles, which increased the amount of rain that hit the region. But Seto said rainfall remains far below yearly averages and even below the monthly average for March.

Residual moisture produced sprinkles Monday morning, but forecasters say the storm was gone by about 4 a.m. and now sits squarely over Utah.

Before leaving, the storm dumped generous loads of snow on resorts, including as much as 14 inches at Mountain High, Seto said.

The rest of the week is expected to be dry with warming temperatures that will peak at 71 on Friday.

Seto said temperatures will drop into the 60s with the entry of a marine layer and a low-pressure system this weekend. But for first time in weeks, the system is not expected to bring any rain.


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-- Matt Stevens

Photo: Visitors on Monday to Main Beach in Laguna Beach enjoy a break in the rain that soaked the Southland over the weekend. Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times