A much-needed winter storm made its way from Northern California to San Diego County and brought rain, high winds, mountain snow and thunderstorms to the region on Tuesday.
While the county faced scattered sprinkles on Monday, much of the activity from this storm happened between Tuesday afternoon and evening. Unlike last week‘s storm system, NBC 7 meteorologist Sheena Parveen expected heavy showers.
“We are expecting some heavy rain and some of that rain can be producing rainfall rates of about three-quarters of an inch an hour,” Parveen said in her forecast. “That is heavy rainfall.”
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Before noon, traffic delays and some spinout crashes were reported on local freeways amid the rain. On Interstate 15, a vehicle spun out and crashed into the center divide on slick roadways. On I-8 near College Avenue, traffic was slow going as heavy downpours struck vehicles. One driver went down an embankment but was expected to survive.
Due to the anticipated rainfall, the National Weather Service issued a flood advisory until 4:15 p.m., meaning urban flooding and small stream flooding was expected.
The NWS also issued a flood watch for coastal areas until 10 p.m., alerting residents that “excessive runoff may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone locations.”
The city of Chula Vista is allowing residents to fill up to 10 sandbags for free to help mitigate flood damage. The bags are available Monday through Thursday, from 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the city‘s Public Works Facility at 1800 Maxwell Road.
In addition to the wet weather, winds will gradually increase Monday night through Tuesday. For that reason, a wind advisory will be in effect from 1 p.m. Tuesday through 1 a.m. Wednesday.
Coastal winds have the potential to reach speeds of up to 45 mph while isolated mountain and desert gusts could be damaging and reach over 60 mph.
“I would not be surprised if tomorrow we have storm-related power outages at all because we can be seeing wind gusts near 75 mph,” Parveen said.
Some of San Diego County's mountain peaks saw a bit of snow. Birch Hill on Palomar Mountain saw an inch, and there was enough snow in Julian to cancel school on Wednesday.
Due to the inclement weather, Cal Fire is offering residents around the county free sandbags to fight off rain runoff. For more information on claiming the freebie, click here.