The second in a series of winter storms will batter San Diego County today, bringing downpours that could again lead to flooding, plus heavy mountain snow, potentially damaging winds and thunderstorms. It could also bring possible tornados and waterspouts. The storms prompted the National Weather Service to issue a slew of warnings and advisories for various parts of the county. A winter storm warning for the mountains will remain in effect from until 6:00 Saturday morning.
Elevations as low as 5,000 feet may see 3 to 7 inches of snow, 6 to 12 inches could accumulate between 5,500 and 6,000 feet, 1 to 1 1/2 feet could blanket higher peaks.Heavy rainfall with amounts that could exceed an inch per hour at times and thunderstorms in some areas may lead to flooding. A flash flood watch for areas other than the deserts will run from 7:00a.m. through this evening.
Rainfall amounts expected today include 1.18 inches in San Diego; 1.42 in the Miramar area; 1.46 in Oceanside; 1.78 in Borrego Springs; 2.09 in Escondido; 2.15 in Ramona; 2.28 in Alpine; 4.46 in Julian; 4.62 on Mount Laguna; and 5.24 on Palomar Mountain, according to the weather service.
A high wind warning in the desert with sustained wind speeds of 25 to 45 miles per hour winds with gusts that could top 65 mph will remain in effect until 10 p.m. Saturday. A similar warning calling for winds of 15 to 30 mph with gusts of 45 to 60 mph along the coast and in the valleys will extend from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m today. Forecasters said the winds may be strong enough to cause structural damage, topple trees or power lines, blow debris onto roadways and make for hazardous driving conditions.
The storms will also lead to problems at the beaches, such as strong rip currents and waves big enough to sweep beachgoers off jetties and rocks or damage piers. Surf of 8 to 12 feet with sets to 16 feet is expected through Saturday, then will lower somewhat over the weekend before ramping back up to 8 to 12 feet again on Monday, according to the NWS. A high surf warning will remain in effect through 10 p.m. Tuesday.
A break between storms is expected Saturday, but the next and possibly strongest in the series of storms will arrive Sunday. Forecasters said the third storm would bring rain to most areas and snow only on the highest mountain during the day Sunday. The snow level is expected to fall to as low as 4,000 feet Sunday night through Monday.