San Diego

Flash Flood, Thunderstorm Warnings Issued in Eastern SD County

Whenever you have tropical moisture over the area, which we do, thunderstorms can form in about 5 to 10 minutes"

A severe thunderstorm warning issued for northeastern San Diego County followed a flash flood warning put in place in the southeastern region.

The National Weather Service San Diego issued the flash flood warning at 2:43 p.m., saying it would be in effect through 5:45 p.m. The thunderstorm warning was issued at 4 p.m. and was in place until 5 p.m.

The NWS said locations that would experience flooding included: Mount Laguna; Boulevard; I-8 between Boulevard and Imperial County Line; I-8 between Pine Valley and Boulevard; Hwy S2 Between Canebrake and Imperial County Line; Mountain Spring; Hwy S2 between Agua Caliente and Canebrake; Hwy S1 between Lake Cuyamaca and Mount Laguna; Hwy S2 between Shelter Valley and Agua Caliente; La Posta Indian Reservation.

Dagmar Midcap's Forecast for July 23rd, 2019

The NWS said motorists should not attempt to cross flooded roads and, instead, find alternate routes.

According to the NWS, a severe thunderstorm was spotted over Highway S22 just before 4 p.m. between Ranchita and Borrego Springs. Wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour and hail the size of quarters was expected in the area.

The NWS expects hail to damage vehicles, and for wind to damage homes, roofs, and trees.

Video courtesy of UC Irvine Steele and Anza Borrego Desert Research Center.

Locations affected by the thunderstorm warning include Borrego Springs, Borrego Palm Canyon, Hwy S22 Between Ranchita And Borrego Springs, Ranchita, Hwy S2 Between Hwy 79 And Hwy 78 and Los Coyotes Indian Reservation.

Before the flash flood warning, at about 2:23 p.m., the NWS had issued a “Special Weather Statement” after strong thunderstorms were located along I-8 and Highway 94. The area is between Pine Valley Boulevard, and Jacumba Hot Springs.

The NWS said the storms were moving northwest at 15 mph. Winds in excess of 40 mph were possible with the storms, as well as heavy rainfall and frequent lightning. The storm was expected to produce flash flooding in southeastern San Diego County.

Earlier in the day, pop-up thunderstorms brought heavy rain and flashes of lightning to San Diego County. The storms were expected to become more severe as the day progressed.

Showers began to develop quickly early Tuesday, bringing scattered pockets of thunderstorms from the South Bay to the North County, NBC 7 Meteorologist Sheena Parveen said. 

A camera atop Mount Miguel captured thunderstorms pushing north from South San Diego County Thursday morning. This timelapse video shows 10 minutes of footage in 30 seconds.

"Whenever you have tropical moisture over the area, which we do, thunderstorms can form in about 5 to 10 minutes, so very quickly," Parveen said.

The summer downpours were caused by a high-pressure system over the southwest that was pushing tropical moisture to the San Diego region, creating hot and muggy conditions.

NBC 7's Danny Freeman reports from Julian where people out and about had to find cover from summer rain.

More severe thunderstorms were expected to develop in the afternoon over the mountains and deserts, Parveen said. There was a chance for thunderstorms in the inland valleys as well. 

The National Weather Service issued an Aviation Weather Warning for the San Diego International airport from 7 to 8 a.m. due to the possibility of cloud-to-ground lightning strikes within five miles of the airport. No incidents were reported.

No other watches and warnings were in effect Tuesday, though on Monday a severe thunderstorm warning was issued for parts of North County as a strong thunderstorm was moving northwest across that section of the county.

Free sandbags are available for pickup at the following locations:

Sand and Bags

  • Bonita/Sunnyside: 4900 Bonita Road, Bonita, CA 91902 P: 619-479-2346
  • Boulevard: 40080 Ribbonwood Road, Boulevard, CA 91905 P: 619-390-2020
  • De Luz: 39524 Daily Road, Fallbrook, CA 92028 P: 760-728-3140 *(Not staffed 24/7)
  • Fallbrook: 4375 Pala Mesa Drive, Fallbrook, CA 92028 P: 760-723-2024
  • Julian: 1587 State Route 78, Julian CA 92036 (760) 765-0511
  • Lakeside River Park Conservancy:12108 Industry Road, Lakeside CA 92040 P: 619-443-4770 *(Closed over the weekend)
  • Ramona: 3410 Dye Road, Ramona, CA 92065 P: 760-789-0107
  • Ramona: 24462 San Vicente Road, Ramona, CA 92065 P: 760-789-9465
  • Rincon: 16971 Highway 76, Pauma Valley, CA 92061 P: 760-742-3243
  • Valley Center: 28205 N. Lake Wohlford Road, Valley Center, CA 92082 P: 760-751-7605
  • Warner Springs: 35227 Highway 79, Warner Springs, CA 92086
  • P: 760-782-9113

Bags Only

  • Alpine: 1364 Tavern Road, Alpine, CA 91901 P: 619-445-2635
  • Deer Springs: 1321 Deer Springs Road, San Marcos, CA 92069 P: 760-741-5512
  • De Luz: 39431 De Luz Road, Fallbrook, CA 92028 P: 760-728-2422
  • Campo: 31577 Highway 94, Campo, CA 91906 P: 619-478-5516
  • Campo (Lake Morena): 29690 Oak Drive, Campo, CA 91906 P: 619-478-5960
  • De Luz: 39431 De Luz Road, Fallbrook, CA. 92028 P: 760-728-2422
  • Descanso: 24592 Viejas Grade Road, Descanso, CA 91916 P: 619-445-7508 (currently out of bags)
  • Dulzura: 17304 Highway 94, Dulzura, CA 91917 P: 619-468-3391
  • El Cajon: 551 Harbison Canyon Rd, El Cajon, CA 92019 P: 619-445-5001
  • Jacumba: 1255 Jacumba St., Jacumba, CA 91934 P: 619-766-4535
  • Jamul (Deerhorn): 2383 Honeysprings Road, Jamul, CA 91935 P: 619-468-3030
  • Jamul: 14024 Peaceful Valley Ranch Rd, Jamul, CA 91935 P: 619-669-6580
  • Julian: (Shelter Valley) 72160 Great Southern Overland, Julian, CA 92036 760-765-0155
  • Ocotillo Wells: 5841 Highway 78, Borrego Springs, CA 92004 P: 760-767-7430
  • Palomar Mountain: 21610 Crestline Road, Palomar Mtn., CA 92060 P: 760-742-3701
  • Pine Valley: 28850 Old Highway 80, Pine Valley, CA 91962 P: 619-578-6621
  • Ramona: (Intermountain) 25858 A Highway 78, Ramona, CA 92065 P: 760-789-3710
  • Ranchita: 37370 Montezuma Valley Road, Ranchita, CA 92066 P: 760-782-3467 *(Not staffed 24/7)
  • San Pasqual: 17701 San Pasqual Valley Rd, Escondido, CA 92025 P: 858-573-1322
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