San Diego gets break from rain before second storm moves in
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Most of San Diego County is expected to get a brief respite from inclement weather before the second of two back-to-back winter storms delivers heavy rain, mountain snow and gusty winds later Friday.
Gusty wind is expected to arrive ahead of the downpours and a National Weather Service wind advisory for the mountains and deserts will be in effect from noon Friday to 10 p.m. Christmas Eve. Winds of 25 to 35 miles per hour are expected, along with gusts of 55 to 65 mph.
Forecasters said the winds would begin to ramp up during the afternoon hours, and a second and stronger bout of winds was expected Saturday afternoon through Saturday night.
"A low pressure system from the northwest will bring stronger onshore flow with periods of strong gusty west winds in the mountains and deserts through late Saturday night," according to the weather service.
A winter storm warning for mountain locations higher than 3,500 feet will run from 10 p.m. today to 3 a.m. Christmas Day. The snow level is expected hover around 3,500 feet Saturday afternoon and evening.
Forecasters said there would be a chance of rain during the day Friday but it "will be dwarfed by the heavy rain that will fall" later in the day.
Forecasters predicted that through Saturday the storm would drop 4 to 6 inches of snow in Julian and 8 to 12 inches on Palomar Mountain and Mount Laguna. Rainfall amounts expected through Saturday were 2.39 inches on Palomar Mountain; 2.22 in Julian; 1.93 on Mount Laguna; 1.60 in the Miramar area; 1.57 in Escondido; 1.56 in Alpine; 1.48 in Ramona; 1.47 in Oceanside; and 1.40 in San Diego.
"Heavy snow will be possible in the mountains above roughly 5,000 feet, with lighter snow and less accumulation down to around 3,000 feet," according to the NWS. "There will be a potential for flooding, especially near recent wildfire burn scars."
Forecasters said the anticipated heavy rain, mountain snow and gusty winds across the region that may cause problems for holiday travelers, such as slick roads and lowered visibility, and may affect travel on Interstates 8 and 15.
The storm is expected to move out of the region Saturday night and milder and drier weather will follow on Christmas Day, forecasters said.