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Soaking storm brings much-needed rain to Southern California but not enough to end drought

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LOS ANGELES — A winter storm brought much-needed rain to Southern California, flooding streets, dampening the Oscars red carpet and dumping snow in the mountains before mostly moving on Monday.

A late flurry of afternoon showers fell in some areas including Pasadena, which even saw hail fall briefly. The cold front is expected to give way to sunny skies on Tuesday.

A winter weather advisory indicating perilous road conditions expired at 4 p.m., the National Weather Service said.

While the rain was welcome, experts say California needs many more such storms to pull out of drought. Downtown Los Angeles' precipitation total remains several inches below normal for the season.

Flooding was reported on Interstate 5 north of Los Angeles while accidents on slick roadways backed up traffic on several other freeways early Monday.

Snow was falling in mountains across Southern California, with up to 7 inches predicted for elevations above 6,000 feet and a measure of good news for ski and snowboard areas. Mountain High, a small ski resort in the San Gabriel Mountains northeast of Los Angeles, said it would reopen Tuesday after being closed for nearly a week due to lack of snow.

"Accumulating snow will lead to hazardous conditions for anyone venturing into the mountains. Roads will be icy and a few closures are a possibility," the weather service said.

Motorists were urged not to venture into higher elevations without an emergency kit that includes chains, food, water, extra clothing and blankets.

Flash flood watches, however, were lifted for hillside areas stripped bare by wildfires after serious mud and debris flows failed to materialize. No evacuations were ordered.

Some areas of the San Gabriel Mountains saw more than 2 inches of rain Sunday, the National Weather Service reported. Mountains in San Diego County had nearly 2 1/2 inches.

Downtown Los Angeles received .7 inch, tying a record for the most rain on any day on which the Academy Awards ceremony was held.

Temperatures were expected to remain in the 60s before it begins to warm up around midweek.

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