Forecasters are expecting the powerful Pacific storm that caused floods, mudslides and record-breaking rainfall over the last two days to taper off in the Los Angeles area by Wednesday afternoon, although more rain was likely by the end of the week.


While cells of heavy rain and wind continued to pound much of Los Angeles for a second consecutive morning rush hour, the brunt of the storm was moving toward the desert areas, including Palm Springs, Thermal and Barstow, and east toward Las Vegas.


Partly cloudy conditions were expected later Wednesday, but that will last only a few hours before another storm system, this one from the Gulf of Alaska, begins moving into Southern California. This will bring more rain into the area Thursday and Friday, although the new storm isn't expected to be quite as strong.


Forecasters are still calling for mostly dry conditions in Pasadena for the Tournament of Roses and the Rose Bowl, with only a slight chance of isolated showers.


Southern California traffic was less snarled early Wednesday than a day before, when hundreds of crashes occurred on Los Angeles and San Diego freeways. Several major routes remained closed, however: The northbound U.S. 101 was closed for about 20 miles near the Gaviota Tunnel in Santa Barbara County, and snow shut down Interstate 5 at Tejon Pass north of Los Angeles.


Tejon Pass was reopened Wednesday morning.


Southern California suffered more than 100,000 power outages Tuesday because of the storm that dumped a record 3.98 inches of rain by afternoon. Between 12 and 13 inches fell Tuesday in the Figueroa Mountain area of Santa Barbara County, and Matilija Canyon and Old Man Mountain, both in Ventura County.


Los Angeles had 5.55 inches of rain Tuesday, the most for any calendar day in December and the most for any day since Jan. 26, 1956, which had the 5.71 inches, according to National Weather Service data.


That leaves L.A. with more than 10 inches of rain for the season, already two-thirds of a normal season's amount.

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