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Rain is late but still on its way, forecasters say

April 25, 2012 |  5:04 pm

Storm clouds gather over L.A. on Wednesday
Meteorologists say that rain predicted for Los Angeles on Wednesday is still on its way -- it's just taking its sweet time getting here.

A mass of muggy subtropical air moved in ahead of the low-pressure system, bringing warmer than expected temperatures, said Joe Sirard, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

The high in downtown Los Angeles was 85, 15 degrees higher than forecast. But the storm is still off the coast and headed our way, Sirard said.

"It’s coming, it’s just not as quick as we thought it was,'' he said.

Showers will move into the metropolitan area by 7 p.m., bringing a half-inch to an inch of rain, and a chance of thunderstorms. South-facing slopes could get as much as 1.5 inches of rain, he said.

Rain will taper off by Thursday morning and temperatures should be much cooler, with highs in the upper 70s.

Late-season precipitation is unpredictable, but the Los Angeles Basin needs every drop, the meteorologist said. Rainfall is more than 6 inches below normal, with downtown recording 8.19 inches since July 1, he said.

"Last year, we had more than 19 inches of rain by now," Sirard said. "We’ve kind of swung in the other direction.”

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-- Catherine Saillant

Photo: Jose Antiono stops at the Elysian Park Angels Point sculpture in Griffith Park while collecting bottles and cans as storm clouds gather over Los Angeles. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

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