A “significant” storm is set to hit San Diego County this week bringing big, much-needed rainfall to the region, plus wind and snow to our local mountains.
Tuesday will be cool and partly cloudy, with maybe even a little bit of spotty drizzle – signaling the weather to come. NBC 7 meteorologist Sheena Parveen said the mid-week storm will likely begin late Tuesday night, lasting through at least Thursday.
On Tuesday morning, she said the storm was approaching land off the Pacific Northwest coast. By nighttime, it'll be in Southern California.
“Tuesday will be dry but as our storm approaches late Tuesday night, we will begin to see a few late-night showers,” Parveen explained. “Expect rain, wind, and mountain snow on Wednesday and Thursday as the storm moves through. We could even see some thunderstorms.”
The National Weather Service in San Diego said the heaviest rainfall is expected Wednesday.
It has been a dry winter in San Diego County (and across California) so, just like last week’s storm, the mid-week rainfall this time around will help chip away at the rainfall deficit we’re still experiencing in our region.
Parveen said the storm – over the course of Wednesday and Thursday, combined – could bring between a half-inch to 1.5 inches of rainfall across the county. As of Monday, Parveen said the region is at a rainfall deficit of -2.28 inches, measuring from the station at San Diego International Airport.
“We’re still in a deficit – in quite the hole – and we still need the rain,” Parveen said. “And we will see a good amount of rain throughout this week.”
"Consider your Wednesday and Thursday to be a soggy one -- in a very good way," NBC 7 meteorologist Dagmar Midcap added.
Even the deserts should get some rain this Wednesday and Thursday but on Tuesday, it'll be breezy in the deserts.
The NWS said a wind advisory is in effect from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday for San Diego County deserts where west winds between 25 and 35 mph are expected – with gusts up to 60 mph. The winds will make driving difficult, as blowing dust and sand could reduce visibility at times.
Winter Storm Watch: Snow in San Diego's Mountains
This week’s storm will also bring substantial snowfall to San Diego’s mountains between 3,500 and 4,000 feet in elevation. Parveen said significant snow – as in, potentially up to 5 inches or more – is expected at 4,500 feet of elevation and above.
“This is going to go through a couple days here, where we’re going to see some snowfall,” she said.
To that end, the NWS said a winter storm watch will be in effect from 10 p.m. Tuesday to 10 p.m. Thursday for San Diego’s mountains where heavy snow is possible. San Bernardino and Riverside County mountain areas are also under this watch.
The agency said total snow accumulations could be between 6 to 12 inches between 4,500 and 5,000 feet in elevation and 12 to 18 inches above 5,500 feet. The NWS said the heaviest snow is expected on Wednesday.
The NWS said the wintry conditions will lead to low visibility and snow-slickened roadways on major mountain passes, including Cajon Pass and I-8. Motorists should expect areas of dense fog, too, and strong west winds with gusts between 35 mph and 50 mph in some mountain areas.
“The combination of heavy snow and gusty winds may result in some downed tree limbs and power outages,” the NWS added. Motorists should carry snow chains and be prepared to use them. For updates on road conditions, drivers can call the Caltrans Highway Information Service at (800) 427-7623.
After the Storm
According to the NBC 7 First Alert Forecast, showers could linger into early Friday morning but the rest of Friday and into the weekend should be dry.
We will follow any changes in the weather pattern on NBC 7 and keep you posted on air and online.