California News

Winter storm brings rain to San Diego County, will continue through Monday with possible snow

A winter storm hit San Diego County on Sunday, bringing gusty winds to the coast and downpours across the region — and forecasters say they expect more of both through Monday with snow.

Rain was expected to fall through Sunday evening and become more scattered overnight, said meteorologist Casey Oswant of the National Weather Service’s San Diego office.

A winter storm warning was issued from 6:00 p.m. Sunday to 10:00 p.m. Monday for the mountains in San Diego County.

“We could start seeing snow in the mountains (Monday) from morning to afternoon,” Oswant said.

Schools in Julian, as well as those in the Spencer Valley and Warner Unified school districts, will be closed Monday due to forecast ice and snow conditions, the county’s office of education said in a statement Sunday.

County officials said Country Club Drive in Escondido has been closed south of Harmony Grove Road due to flooding and will remain closed until the storm passes. Quarry Road in Spring Valley was also closed Sunday from Elkelton Boulevard to State Road 125 due to flooding.

The NWS said snow could fall as high as 3,000 to 3,500 feet on Monday morning, with Julian expected to see up to 3 inches. Palomar Mountain could see about 7 inches, while nearly a foot of snow was possible at Mount Laguna, Oswant said.

Urban areas of San Diego saw between a quarter and a half inch of rain fall Sunday afternoon. Over the next 24 hours, Oswant said the region can expect another three-quarters of an inch of rain on the coast and up to another inch of rain inland.

The precipitation totals are in line with what was forecast, said meteorologist Stefanie Sullivan, who also works at the NWS in San Diego. She said while the county’s annual rainfall total is still below average for the year, that could soon change.

“So far we’re slightly below par for the water year, but we can easily catch up tonight and tomorrow,” Sullivan said.

The winter storm brought gusty winds to the coast, with gusts of up to 40 mph detected at North Island and 37 mph at La Jolla, Oswant said. A wind advisory remained in effect until 8 a.m. Monday for areas near Borrego Springs in San Diego County, as well as other desert areas like Indio, Palm Springs and Cathedral City. Forecasters said they expected west to northwest winds of up to 25mph, with occasional gusts of 45mph.

However, a small craft advisory was issued until 4 p.m. Monday for coastal waters from San Mateo Point to the Mexican border and up to 30 nautical miles of waters from San Mateo Point to the Mexican border extending 30 to 60 nautical miles, including San Clemente. Island.

As Christmas decorations hung from a dead coastal tree blow in the wind and rain, Carlsbad resident Skip Ammon and his dog Oakley take their daily walk along Carlsbad Boulevard in Carlsbad as a Pacific storm hits San Diego County on Sunday, December 11, 2022.

(Hayne Palmour IV/For the San Diego Union-Tribune)

Sullivan said second-wave winds from the storm won’t be as strong as they were on Sunday.

“(Monday) will be a bit weaker – especially on land,” she said. “It will be quite windy over the coastal waters, but for the most part the winds will be lower.”

Most temperatures on Sunday were in the 50s, with overnight lows in the 40s. The mountains were expected to be in the mid-40s, dropping to the mid-30s overnight, and highs in the deserts were predicted at mid 60s with lows in the mid 40s.

Tuesday and Wednesday were expected to be dry and cold, followed by a slight warmer Thursday and Friday.

San Diego County has issued a general rain advisory for beaches in the county from San Onofre State Beach south to the US-Mexico border. During rain events, bacteria levels in the ocean can increase dramatically due to urban runoff. Swimmers, surfers and divers are therefore advised to stay out of the water for at least 72 hours after rainfall, according to the county’s Department of Health and Environmental Quality.

Other parts of California were battered by the storm, which triggered flood watches and avalanche warnings on Saturday as heavy snowfall and rain began falling. In northern California, snow and gusty winds shut down mountain highways and shuttered some ski resorts. Low-level downpours triggered flood watches on Sunday across large swathes of California to Nevada.

Lake Tahoe’s Heavenly Ski Resort shut down some operations Saturday when the brunt of the storm hit. The station released video of lift chairs rocking violently from gusts exceeding 100 mph.

Some mountainous areas in Ventura County have seen 7 inches of rain since Saturday evening, and the National Weather Service was predicting travel delays in the mountains near Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reported.

City News Service and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

California Daily Newspapers

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