Dark Skies, Rain, Wind Arrive in San Diego | NBC 7 San Diego

Dark Skies, Rain, Wind Arrive in San Diego

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC 7's Jodi Kodesh takes a look at Doppler radar just before 8 a.m. Friday. (Published Friday, Dec. 12, 2014)

    With a sky darkened by storm clouds, a new storm rolled into San Diego County Friday bringing with it high surf, rainfall and strong winds.

    Through noon, San Diegans can expect one inch of rain inland, a half inch along the coast and two inches in the mountains, though if a thunderstorm pummels through, those totals might increase.

    Waves will be seven to 10 feet high on Friday, with some sets up to 14 feet.

    The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for San Diego County, specifically the burn areas where the Cocos Fire occurred in May. Flash flooding and debris flows are possible in and below those areas so residents are advised to be on alert.

    Storm Preparations Push Forward in San Diego

    [DGO] Storm Preparations Push Forward in San Diego
    NBC 7's Elena Gomez reports live from Ocean Beach on the latest preparations for the storm prepared to hit San Diego Friday. (Published Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014)

    Rainfall rates could reach one half inch per hour, enough to trigger flash floods or debris flows in and below recent burn areas. The wildfire burn area near San Marcos is one of the areas with the greatest risk during this time.

    "The brunt will pass this morning, leaving spotty showers possible into this evening. There is a small chance of a morning shower early Saturday," said NBC 7 Meteorologist Jodi Kodesh.

    San Diego Lifeguards are on Alert Two, meaning all their staff will be hands-on ready to go if they are needed during the storm and they will have 19 personnel available for swift water rescue.

    An airport weather warning was also in effect for San Diego International airport, known to locals as Lindbergh Field. Wind gusts of 30 knots or greater may occur until 10 a.m. Friday.

    As of 7 a.m. only one flight was canceled with another flight experiencing delays. Travelers may check the status of their flights through the carrier or the airport's website.

    Amtrak suspended service from Los Angeles north to the central coast city of San Luis Obispo Friday but continued to operate service between LA and San Diego.

    LEGOLAND California closed its park and ice rink due to weather.

     

    The storm system, dubbed the Pineapple Express, has already wreaked havoc on Northern California. Hurricane-force winds knocked out power to thousands and delayed commuters while rains soaked the region with some much-needed rain.

    The National Weather Service says this storm could be the state's biggest in five years.

    Lifeguards around the county spent Thursday preparing for the storm rolling into the city. That included raising berms to prevent flooding from high tide and high surf in addition to adding more sand to the coastline.

    Lifeguards do not recommend swimming in the ocean for 72 hours after the storm because of runoff.

    But Thursday, some experienced surfers were taking advantage of the swells before the storm. They hit the water with overhead sets, cracking boards, wowing crowds along the shore and calling the conditions "insane."

    "Looks pretty good, maybe closing out a little bit, but we'll find some open shoulders out there," said surfer David Markgraff.

    However, students who take surfing as a P.E. class weren't allowed in the water for safety reasons.

    In teams of two, lifeguards used the waves to practice in boats specifically designed for big surf rescues.

    "The big trick is you want to keep the boat straight on into the surf. You want to watch as it breaks and hit straight on with a lot of power," said Pat Vergne, the Del Mar lifeguard chief.

    He is hoping they won't need them as the storm picks up speed.