Rain and wind marks the first of two holiday storms

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – More rain, gusty winds and very high tides are in the forecast in parts of San Diego County Tuesday as the first of two storm systems to hit before Christmas arrives.

Gusts of between 50 and 60 miles per hour were clocked in the mountains prior to about 2:30 a.m. today, according to the National Weather Service. Winds of 25 to 35 mph are expected in the mountains and deserts along with gusts to 55 mph and isolated gusts of up to 75 mph in some areas until a National Weather Service wind advisory expires at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Forecasters said the strong winds may lead to hazardous driving conditions, especially for motorists in high-profile vehicles. Visibility on some desert roadways may also be reduced due to blowing dust.

More rain is also expected in San Diego County. In a 12-hour period ending at 3 a.m. today, automated gauges recorded .26 of an inch of rain at Birch Hill; .21 of an inch on Palomar Mountain; two- tenths of an inch in Descanso; .19 of an inch on Volcan Mountain and in Julian; .16 of an inch at Lake Cuyamaca and in Point Loma; .15 of an inch on Mt. Woodson and in Pine Hills; .14 of an inch in Miramar and Oceanside; .13 of an inch at Mount Laguna; and .12 of an inch in Fallbrook, at Lindbergh Field, and in Rainbow, Santee, Escondido and Alpine.

Lesser amounts fell in numerous other locales. Forecasters said the heaviest precipitation today through early Wednesday would fall along the western slopes of the Riverside and San Diego county mountains. Up to 2 inches of rain could fall in some areas, although significant snow accumulations are not expected in areas lower than 7,000 feet.

At the coast, very high tides today and each morning through Christmas may lead to minor flooding in low-lying streets and parking lots nearby, according to the weather service. A coastal flood advisory will expire at 10 a.m. Friday.

The second storm system is expected Thursday night into Friday morning, and more gusty wind, cooler weather, light rain and light mountain snow will be possible, according to the NWS.

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