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New storm headed to Southern California

February 8, 2010 |  8:13 am

A new storm is expected to hit Southern California on Tuesday, bringing more rain to a region where successive storms have triggered mudslides and snarled commutes.

Monday is expected to be clear and sunny with clouds rolling in by evening. The new system is likely to roll in Tuesday with a 40% chance of showers starting Tuesday afternoon, the National Weather Service said.

The system is expected to continue into Wednesday. The storm appears to be less severe than those that pummeled the region Friday and Saturday, setting off destructive mudslides in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.

“It really depends on the exact track of the system as to how much rain we will get,” said David Sweet, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

Whether the storm will pose a threat to fragile hillsides is related to the amount of thunderstorm activity associated with the system, Sweet said. Severe thunderstorms could produce intense periods of precipitation that could pose a problem for drainage systems.

Forecasters are expecting a half-inch of rain in the coastal and valley areas Tuesday and Wednesday, with up to 1 1/2 inches in the mountains. The storm also could bring cooler temperatures with highs in the 60s Monday. They are unlikely to reach much above 60 degrees Tuesday and Wednesday.

There could be a slight chance of rain Friday and cloudy conditions, forecasters said.

Surf conditions were expected to be slightly higher than normal Monday with waves of 4 feet to 6 feet, sometimes reaching 7 feet. The recent series of storms has resulted in rainfall that is about 50% above the normal for this point in the season.

More than 12 inches of rain has fallen in downtown Los Angeles so far this season, compared with a normal rainfall of 8 inches during this time of year, the National Weather Service said.

-- Patrick J. McDonnell

Photo: At Dana Strand Beach in Dana Point, rocks are balanced in sculpture form Sunday as Carol Sanchez looks for seashells brought onto the beach from recent storms. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

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