San Diego

‘It'll Pack a Punch': Weekend Storm Sweeps San Diego County

Saturday’s strong storm was expected to bring heavy rain to San Diego County and snow showers to local mountain regions

It’s going to be a wet winter weekend in San Diego as the second storm in a series of three sweeps the county, bringing with it heavy rain, strong winds, and even some snow.

Sunday rain won't be as widespread or intense as Saturday's but scattered showers will continue throughout the county.

Wintry weather is expected to continue through Monday, the National Weather Service said. Snow showers and gusty winds will hit above 5,500 feet.

On Monday, the third and final storm moves in. Showers will be scattered and possible through Wednesday.

NBC 7's Ramon Galindo is in Encinitas, where free sand bags are being offered to locals ahead of Saturday's strong storm.

“Look out for Saturday!” said NBC 7 meteorologist Dagmar Midcap. “The storm is slow moving and moisture-intensive, with strong winds. It’ll pack a punch.”

Saturday’s storm started moving through the county at around 7 p.m. NBC 7's Llarisa Abreu said the rain was heavy at times but the brunt of the storm hit around noon to 6 p.m. and continued overnight.

Rain should become scattered after midnight, Abreu said.

The biggest impacts with this storm will be flooding and possible down trees due to strong winds and saturated grounds, she said.

[G] Winter Weather in San Diego: Rain, Frost, Snow u0026 Frigid Temps

Just before 10:30 a.m. Saturday, the NWS issued an aviation weather warning for San Diego International Airport for wind gusts 30 knots or greater, in effect through 5 p.m. Saturday.

The NWS also issued a beach hazard statement from 4 a.m. Saturday through 11 a.m. Monday for high surf at local beaches expected to peak between 5 and 7 feet. Sets would likely be even higher along shorelines south of Encinitas.

The storm also prompted a flash flood watch, in effect Saturday morning through the evening, the NWS said.

Dagmar Midcap's Forecast for February 1st, 2019

The NWS added a flash flood warning for the San Diego River at Fashion Valley, an area notorious for flooding during big storms.

"The river will rise this afternoon and evening," the warning read. "Do not drive vehicles through flooded roadways."

The NWS said heavy rainfall – expected to peak between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. – could cause flooding at Fashion Valley Road, Avenida Del Rio, Camino Del Este, Camino Camino de la Reina, and Mission Center Road. Water flows into the parking lot at Fashion Valley are also likely.

If the river rises into flooding the Fashion Valley Transit Center will close, the NWS said. 

At 2:35 p.m. Saturday, the NWS issued a flash flood warning for northwestern San Diego County including Oceanside, Carlsbad, Vista, Encinitas, Del Mar, Fallbrook, Valley Center and Camp Pendleton.

At 3:05 p.m., the NWS issued a severe thunderstorm warning for southwestern San Diego County, effective until 4 p.m.

“No thunder or lightning but severe winds are expected with heavy rain through 4 p.m.,” the warning read.

At 3:55 p.m., the San Diego Police Department said at least 30 trees had toppled across the city amid the stormy, windy conditions.

SDPD Officer Craig Matthews took an ax to one fallen tree in North Park to clear the roadway at around 3:10 p.m. The tree fell near Utah Street and Monroe Avenue.

In Del Mar, reports of a bluff collapse caused major delays of trains in the area.

Parveen said the rain would taper off quite a bit Sunday, but there is still a chance for a few light showers amid ongoing cloudy conditions.

[G] Things to Do When it Rains in San Diego

The County Department of Environmental Health on Friday extended a water contact closure to include Imperial Beach, Silver Strand State Beach and Coronado shorelines. The closure already included the Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge and Border Field State Park.

On Monday, the third storm in this series is expected to arrive, with rain throughout the day, possibly lingering into Tuesday and Wednesday.

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