Wednesday, December 29, 2010
SAN DIEGO More blustery, wet winter weather drenched the already saturated San Diego area today, ushering in a messy morning commute and forcing a few road closures but causing no immediate serious problems.
The storm -- a follow-up to last week's torrential rains, which led to widespread flooding and mudslides -- arrived out of the northwest around dawn.
By late morning, the steady showers had submerged a stretch of Quarry Road in Spring Valley, southbound Interstate 15 at Rancho Penasquitos Boulevard, Equitation Lane at Plaza Bonita Road, the Carmel Mountain Road entrance to northbound I-5 and part of Qualcomm Stadium's giant parking lot.
Between midnight and 11 a.m., the California Highway Patrol logged 86 accidents on local freeways and rural roads. In fair weather, by comparison, the CHP typically responds to between 50 and 75 crashes over a full day.
Snowfall, meanwhile, was dusting the East County highlands at midday, sheriff's Lt. Jim Walker said.
The National Weather Service issued several high-wind warnings -- one for the region's mountain communities through early Thursday morning, and the other for Lindbergh Field, effective from 3 p.m. through 8 this evening. The bayside airport was expected to come under gusts of 35 knots or stronger over the period, according to the NWS.
Rainfall totals from the storm, which should weaken over the afternoon before moving out of the region tonight, will range from upwards of two-thirds of an inch along the coast and in the inland valleys, near an inch on west- facing slopes and less than a quarter inch in the deserts, meteorologists predicted.
The North County will get more moisture than communities to the south, and the highest eastern peaks may get as much as two inches of snow, according to the weather service.
On Thursday and Friday, temperatures throughout the county will likely drop 10 or 20 degrees below seasonal averages, causing widespread overnight frost in low-lying inland communities.