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Warmer Wet Weather to Linger Through Weekend

Forecast calls for up to three-quarters of an inch of rain on the coast and two inches in local mountains.

Rain fell on Southern California overnight and Thursday, setting the stage for wet commutes in the morning and afternoon, with the National Weather Service reporting more than half an inch in Long Beach by 5 a.m.

Main impacts will be hydroplaning on the freeways due to oil being lifted by the first rain in a long time," warned a National Weather Service advisory.

California Highway Patrol Officer Ed Jacobs said there was about a two-thirds increase in the number of accidents in various areas of the freeway system coinciding with the morning rains, but that no serious injuries had been
reported.

"Hopefully, there won't be," Jacobs said.

In Long Beach, the city Health Department issued the following alert Thursday:

City of Long Beach Health Officer, Dr. Mitchell Kushner, has issued a rain advisory for recreational beaches and bays in the City of Long Beach following the rain experienced in the last 24 hours. After any significant rainfall, unhealthy conditions may result from increased runoff from storm drain outlets and rivers, which eventually reach the City’s beaches.  Recreational swimming areas should be avoided for three days following the end of a rainstorm. 

State law requires all local public health agencies with recreational swimming areas to notify the public when conditions might affect the health of swimmers.  Further information may be obtained from the Health Department’s Water Quality Information Line at (562) 570-4199, or online at http://www.longbeach.gov/health/eh/water/water_samples.asp

Weather Service forecasters also warned of the possibility of urban flooding in low-lying areas of Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

The wet weather, resulting from subtropical moisture drifting north from Baja California and combining with a trough of low pressure, is expected to persist through Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

There could be between a half-inch and three-quarters of an inch of rain along the coast and in the valleys, and up to to two inches in some parts of the San Gabriel Mountains, said Weather Service meteorologist Curt Kaplan. Preliminary rainfall totals in Long Beach were counted through 5 a.m. at 0.69 inches at Long Beach Airport.

The snow level, meanwhile, will remain high, falling to 6,000 feet in the San Gabriels by Friday evening and coming down some more Sunday, when some travel issues could arise on the Interstate 5 corridor even though little is expected in the way of rain or snow accumulation, Weather forecasters said.

Thursday's rainfall is likely to coincide with the morning and afternoon commutes, according to Weather Service forecasters, who set the chance of precipitation at 50 percent today, 70 percent Friday, 40 percent Saturday and 20 percent Sunday.

Highs today will be in the 60s.

--Nancy Wride contributed to this report.

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