High winds arrive in the region, and here come the heavy rains.
The first in a series of powerful storms arrived in San Diego Sunday, by Tuesday morning, rain totals could reach as much as 3 inches on the western side of the mountains, with twice that in the higher elevations. Residents are being warned about the chances of flooding, flash flooding, mud and landslides, and even the uprooting of trees.
Winds will gust to between 25-50 mph as the heart of the storm comes ashore, but sustained winds will increase in power as they hit the mountain passes and move toward the desert; gusts there could exceed 60 mph. Temperatures Monday will top out in the 60s -- 40s in the mountains -- but it will feel colder because of the wind and rain. The snow level should remain too high for accumulations on either Palomar or Laguna.
By 4 p.m., there were eight power outages being reported around the county, affecting more than 7,000 customers, with 2,300 in the dark in Vista and San Marcos alone.
Tuesday brings a smaller, weaker system into the county. It should move out rapidly and produce only scattered showers and much lighter rainfall amounts.
The colder, and possibly the strongest and wettest, of the three storms is due to arrive sometime Wednesday. This is earlier than previously predicted, and, in conjunction with the other two systems, will almost assuredly produce some flooding in as as much as 5 inches of rain falls over the valleys and coastal region and possibly 15 inches or more drenches the western slopes of the mountains and foothills. It could also generate some thunderstorms, which in turn could produce hail or funnel clouds. As the storm's colder core moves in, temperatures will drop into the 50s on the flats and 30s in the mountains and we could see, along with the return of strong winds, heavy snowfall and possibly blizzard conditions in all of the Southern California mountains.
This third storm should taper off to showers by Friday and then we should see partly cloudy skies the remainder of the weekend. However, looking ahead, conditions look good for another string of powerful storms to move in by the middle of next week and stick around through the weekend of Jan. 30.
Sandbags are available in flood-prone areas, including at fire stations in Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, San Ysidro, Rancho Bernardo, Scripps Ranch, Valley Center, Julian, Alpine, Ramona, Fallbrook and Dulzura. Click here for more information.