ALPINE: Heavy wind, snow could be headed to county
SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A winter storm could bring heavy snowfall and gusty
winds to San Diego County mountain areas starting Tuesday night, which could
impact travelers on Interstate 8 between Alpine and Imperial County,
Snow could fall in the mountains beginning early Tuesday, when snow
levels are expected to lower to altitudes of around 4,000 to 4,500 feet,
according to the National Weather Service. The heaviest snowfall is expected
Tuesday night and snow levels are expected to be around 2,000 to 2,500 feet
through early Wednesday.
Up to eight inches of snow could accumulate in areas above 3,500 feet,
up to 16 inches above 4,500 feet and more than two feet in areas above 7,000
feet, forecasters said. Winds of 25 to 40 miles per hour with gusts of around
75 mph are expected along desert mountain slopes.
“The combination of falling temperatures and strong winds will result
in local wind chill values of zero to 10 degrees below zero late Tuesday night
and early Wednesday, mainly above 6,500 feet,” according to the NWS.
A winter storm warning is set to take effect at 10 a.m. Tuesday for
mountain areas including Boulevard, Campo, Cuyamaca, Descanso, Julian, Mount
Laguna, Pine Valley, Santa Ysabel and Warner Springs. Interstate 8 has three
summits above 4,000 feet in East County.
“A winter storm warning for heavy snow means severe winter weather
conditions are expected or occurring,” according to the weather service
statement. “Significant amounts of snow are forecast that will make travel
Forecasters said drivers should only travel in snowy mountain areas in
an emergency. Blowing snow and dense fog could cause visibility to be reduced
to near zero, especially Tuesday night.
Motorists on mountain roads, including Interstate 8 in East County,
should prepare for hazardous conditions and were urged to check road conditions
before embarking on their travels. The NWS also said drivers in mountain areas
should carry tire chains along with extra food, clothing and an extra
“This weather may be deadly for unprepared campers and hikers,” the
NWS warned. “Travelers through the mountains should be prepared for hazardous
winter weather conditions.”
A lesser winter weather advisory was issued for valley areas above 2,000
feet, including Alpine, Potrero and Santa Ysabel, that could get up to two
inches of snow along with wind, thunderstorms and heavier showers.
“A winter weather advisory means that periods of snow will cause travel
difficulties,” the advisory said. “Be prepared for slippery roads and
limited visibilities, and use caution while driving.”
Rain and isolated thunderstorms with small hail are also expected
elsewhere in the county Tuesday through early Wednesday. The cold front could
also bring strong wind to the deserts and high surf along the coast.