Storm Clears Out

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The threat of mud slides and debris flows down slopes that wildfires have stripped of vegetation vanished today as a powerful storm began clearing out of the Southland.

A flash flood watch issued for several areas of L.A. County, with emphasis on so-called burn areas, was cancelled early this morning as rainfall rates declined to less than a 10th of an inch per hour -- too weak to trigger mud slides and debris flows -- and the storm's last bands of rain were moving south and east on their way out, National Weather Service forecasters said.

The storm may generate a few showers this morning as its last hurrah, they said.

It has generated differing amounts of rain in L.A. County since the rain began Tuesday afternoon -- 3.90 inches in Newhall, more than 2 inches near Malibu, between 1.5 and 4 inches in L.A. County valleys, 1.5 to 2 inches in coastal areas, and 1.15 inches in Downtown L.A., said NWS meteorologist Curt Kaplan, adding that the recorded volume of rain in the San Gabriel Mountains in Ventura County was 6.5 inches.

``It's rare to get major rains this late in the season,'' which starts in October, he said.

Mostly cloudy skies were forecast in L.A. County today, along with highs of 51 on Mount Wilson; 57 in Avalon; 63 in Saugus, Palmdale, Lancaster and at LAX; 64 in Pasadena, Burbank and Woodland Hills; and 65 in Downtown L.A., Long Beach and San Gabriel. Temperatures will decline slightly Saturday under mostly cloudy skies and remain in the low to mid 60s through Monday before climbing into the low 70s starting Tuesday.

Partly cloudy skies were forecast in Orange County, along with highs of 61 in San Clemente; 63 in Newport Beach; 64 in Laguna Beach; 67 in Mission Viejo; and 68 in Yorba Linda, Fullerton, Anaheim and Irvine. Temperatures will decline slightly Saturday but climb by several degrees starting Tuesday, with highs reaching the low 70s in several communities.

Photo: Getty Images

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