The slow-moving storm taking over the skies of San Diego County this week still has more to give Friday as lingering showers continue and the local mountains get a bit more snow.
“Our weather pattern is still going to be unsettled,” NBC 7 meteorologist Sheena Parveen said Friday morning.
Scattered showers continued in parts of the county overnight and on Friday morning, rain lingered at the coast. Parveen said San Diego’s South Bay was also still getting some of that rain.
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According to Friday’s First Alert Forecast, the storm system – which moved into the region late Tuesday night and has hung around for days – is weakening. San Diego County will mainly be dry by Friday afternoon but Parveen said there’s still a chance of light showers.
Parveen said the weekend should be dry.
Winter Storm Warning Extended: Snow in San Diego's Mountains
A winter storm warning was issued by the National Weather Service earlier this week for mountain areas in San Diego County with snow levels around 3,500 feet.
The warning was set to expire Thursday night but Parveen said the agency had extended it through 10 p.m. Friday because more snow showers were expected throughout the day.
While there is a lot of snow in San Diego’s mountains right now, Parveen said San Diegan should avoid traveling there on Friday because the snow showers could impact visibility and make driving difficult on major mountain roadways, including Interstate 8.
The NWS said snow levels would drop to around 3,000 feet Friday during the day. Areas above 3,000 feet are expected to get 2 to 4 more inches of snow through Friday evening.
At of 7:25 p.m. Thursday, the NWS shared these snowfall totals measured Thursday in San Diego County:
- Julian: 18 inches (5,000 feet in elevation)
- Palomar Mountain (Birch Hill): 17 inches (5,645 feet in elevation)
- Mount Laguna: 11 inches (6,000 feet in elevation)
Other Southern California areas that got big snow from this week’s storm include Lake Arrowhead with 18 inches, Bear Mountain Summit with 13 to 18 inches, Snow Valley with 12 inches, and Idyllwild with 5 to 8 inches, the NWS said.
Due to the snow, San Diego’s mountains may be busy this weekend. Motorists should carry snow chains and be prepared to use them. Roads may be closed if the conditions worsen or if traffic gets too heavy. For updates on road conditions, drivers can call the Caltrans Highway Information Service at (800) 427-7623.
On Wednesday morning, the San Diego Department of Public Works shut down a part of Sunrise Highway to Mount Laguna. On the stretch that was open, driver were required to use snow chains.
By 6:30 a.m. Friday, all of Sunrise Highway was open but chains were still required. For the latest updates from the DPW, check out the department's Twitter feed here.
Meanwhile, the Julian Union High School District announced a snow day closure Friday -- the third day in a row for the district. On Wednesday and Thursday, the San Diego County Office of Education said three other school districts in San Diego's mountain communities switched into distance learning mode because of the winter storm: Julian Union Elementary School District; Mountain Empire Unified School District; Warner Unified School District.
Rainfall Totals and Impact on San Diego's Rain Deficit
It has been a dry winter in San Diego County (and across California) so, just like last week’s storm, the rainfall this week has helped to chip away at the rainfall deficit we’re still experiencing in our region.
“We’re still in a deficit – in quite the hole – and we still need the rain,” Parveen said earlier this week.
As of March 8, Parveen said the region was facing a rainfall deficit of -2.28 inches, measuring from the station at San Diego International Airport.
The NWS shared its latest rainfall totals recorded as of 7 p.m. Thursday. Some measurements included:
- Rancho Bernardo: 1.28 inches
- San Ysidro: 0.98 inches
- Oceanside: 1.14 inches
- Alpine: 1.12 inches
- Vista: 1.21 inches
- Escondido: 1.24 inches
- Bonsall: 0.99 inches
- Brown Field: 0.75 inches
- Del Mar: 0.93 inches
- Lemon Grove: 0.92 inches
- Dulzura Summit: 0.75 inches
- Cole Grade Road: 1.32 inches
- De Luz: 0.59 inches
- Skyline Ranch: 1.19 inches
- Lake Wohlford: 1.09 inches
- Otay Mountain: 0.82 inches
- Ramona: 1.07 inches
- Encinitas: 0.74 inches
- Fashion Valley: 1.09 inches
- Lake Murray: 0.79 inches
- Valley Center: 0.91 inches
- El Cajon: 0.77 inches
- Linda Vista: 0.64 inches
- University Heights: 0.90 inches
- Point Loma: 0.44 inches
- Poway: 0.79 inches
- La Mesa: 0.83 inches
- Mission Beach: 0.73 inches
- San Diego International Airport: 0.67 inches
- Santee North: 0.88 inches
- Kearny Mesa: 0.71 inches
- La Jolla: 0.36 inches
- San Onofre: 0.23 inches
- Carlsbad: 0.59 inches
The NWS will post updated rainfall and snowfall totals here later.
Mountains above 5,500 feet should expect snow as well, according to the NWS.