Blustery storm begins dousing region

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The leading edges of a strong Pacific storm moved into the San Diego area Friday, ushering in a blustery spell that promises to get the weekend off to a soggy start.

Bands of rain began spreading through the county to the northeast early this afternoon. The gathering dark clouds were expected to begin letting loose in earnest sometime this evening and continue dousing the region through Saturday evening or early Sunday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

The unstable front should drop 1 to 2 inches of moisture along the coast and in the inland valleys; up to 3 inches of precipitation in the mountains, with snow possibly as low as 3,000 feet; and up to 1 inch of rain in the deserts; the NWS reported. The storm also may generate some lightning, funnel clouds and water spouts, forecasters said.

The Weather Service instituted a high-wind advisory for coastal and valley areas, effective from 1 this afternoon until 7 a.m. Saturday. A comparable alert will be in effect in the region's eastern deserts from 4 a.m. to 7 a.m. Saturday.

The heavy gusts, potentially reaching 40 to 50 mph, will be particularly dangerous for drivers of big rigs and other “high-profile” vehicles.

For people who live or own property in flood-prone areas, the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department is offering a limited number of free sandbags. The empty sacks — recipients must obtain sand themselves — may be picked up at the following city facilities:

      — Fire Station 15, 4711 Voltaire St., Ocean Beach;
      — Fire Station 20, 3305 Kemper St., Midway area;
      — Fire Station 21, 750 Grand Ave., Pacific Beach;
      — Fire Station 28, 3880 Kearny Villa Road, Kearny Mesa;
      — Fire Station 29, 198 West San Ysidro Blvd., San Ysidro;
      — Fire Station 33, 16966 Bernardo Center Drive, Rancho Bernardo;
      — Fire Station 37, 11640 Spring Canyon Road, Scripps Ranch; and
      — Lifeguard stations in Mission Beach, Ocean Beach and Pacific Beach.

There is a limit of 10 sandbags per household or business. People are welcome to use beach sand to fill them, according to city officials.

Categories: KUSI