Southland in for a Cool, Dry Spell

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Southland temperatures will dip significantly today and some rain is expected in the form of what a forecaster called ''a few sprinkles,'' but Santa Ana winds and a ridge of high pressure will warm things up over the weekend, with Sunday's highs forecast to be 10-14 degrees above normal.

Today's highs will be around 10 degrees lower than yesterday, with a high of around 65 expected in Downtown Los Angeles -- only around 3 degrees lower than average, said National Weather Service meteorologist Curt Kaplan. Temperatures will climb by 3 degrees or so Friday, then, on Saturday, will revert to Wednesday's levels.

On Sunday, highs will leap into the 80s, with a high of 85 forecast in Downtown L.A. and 84 in Woodland Hills. Kaplan attributed the expected warmup to a ridge of high pressure now developing and moderate-to-strong Santa Ana winds, which, he said, would warm up the atmosphere.

The NWS said there's a 20 percent chance of showers this morning. Kaplan predicted that any precipitation would amount to nothing more than ''a few sprinkles.''

A combination of mostly and partly cloudy skies were forecast in L.A. County today, along with highs of 51 on Mount Wilson; 55 in Lancaster; 56 in Palmdale; 60 in Avalon; 61 in Saugus; 62 in Pasadena and at LAX; 63 in Burbank; and 64 in Woodland Hills, Long Beach and Downtown L.A.. Friday's highs will be a few degrees higher, then climb into the 70s Saturday and the 80s on Sunday.

Sunny skies were forecast for Orange County, along with highs of 61 in Laguna Beach and San Clemente; 64 in Newport Beach; 65 in Mission Viejo; 67 in Irvine and Yorba Linda; and 68 in Fullerton and Anaheim. Orange County temperatures are forecast to rise by up to 9 degrees Friday and keep going, hitting the mid 80s in some communities on Monday before reverting to the 70s amid continuing mild weather.

Photo: Getty Images

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