Heavy rain begins this afternoon; snow expected in San Diego County mountains
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Heavy rain will fall at times in San Diego County Thursday evening and snow is likely in the mountains, according to the National Weather Service.
A winter weather advisory will be in effect until noon Thursday in the county mountains above 5,000 feet. NWS officials warned residents to use caution while driving because roads could be slippery and visibility could be limited because of falling snow.
As of 1 p.m. Wednesday, 5 inches of snow had fallen on Palomar Mountain. Palomar Mountain is expected to get up to 3 more inches of snow by late Friday morning, while Mount Laguna could get between 6-7 inches and Julian could get trace amounts of snow, NWS meteorologist Miguel Miller said. Snow levels will be around 4,900 feet Thursday morning, then rise to 5,500 feet by this afternoon and remain there through Friday morning.
A flash flood watch is in effect throughout the county until Friday afternoon.
Scattered showers will continue Thursday morning as the center of the upper low-pressure system lingers over the Las Vegas area, but that system is making its way back to southern California and will be centered over Los Angeles by Thursday evening, Miller said.
That means heavy rain is expected at times starting Thursday afternoon and continuing through Friday morning, he said.
Rainfall totals through Friday afternoon could reach 2 inches in coastal and inland valley areas, while up to 3 inches are expected in the mountains and the deserts could get 1 inch.
In a 72-hour period ending at 4 a.m. Thursday, Birch Hill on Palomar Mountain had received the most rain, 4.7 inches, followed by 4.61 on Palomar Mountain, 4.47 at the Palomar Observatory, 3.65 in Lower Oat Flats, 3.26 in Deer Springs, 3.16 at Henshaw Dam, 2.96 in Mesa Grande, 2.94 in Skyline Ranch, 2.9 in Valley Center, 2.46 in Carlsbad, 2.4 in San Marcos, 2.38 in Santee and 2.37 in La Mesa as well as Julian.
Other noteworthy rainfall totals included 2.26 in Encinitas, 2.16 in Poway, 2.12 in Bonsall, 2.09 in Ramona, 1.96 in Escondido, 1.91 in Fallbrook, 1.8 in Oceanside, 1.7 in Miramar, 1.64 in Kearny Mesa, 1.6 in Point Loma, 1.17 at the San Diego International Airport, 1.44 at Brown Field, 0.61 in Ocotillo Wells and 0.52 in Borrego Springs.
High temperatures Thursday could reach 63 degrees near the coast, 59 in the western valleys, 55 near the foothills, 52 in the mountains and 67 in the deserts.
The storm is expected to leave the region to the east by Friday night, then dry weather with warmer temperatures will persist through at least the middle of next week, forecasters said.