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2nd Storm Pounds San Diego

A second round of strong rainfall in as many days saturated the San Diego area today, bringing more moisture to the drought-weary region while raising concerns of mudslides and flash floods and prompting tornado warning for parts of the county.

This radar image shows heavy rainfall moving inland across San Diego County on January 19, 2010.
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Above: This radar image shows heavy rainfall moving inland across San Diego County on January 19, 2010.

Emergency crews respond to a car accident on northbound College Avenue on January 19, 2010. Police say heavy rains and slick roads were the cause of many accidents across the county today.
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Above: Emergency crews respond to a car accident on northbound College Avenue on January 19, 2010. Police say heavy rains and slick roads were the cause of many accidents across the county today.

SDSU students take cover under their umbrellas as walk across campus on January 19, 2010.
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Above: SDSU students take cover under their umbrellas as walk across campus on January 19, 2010.

More Rain On Its Way

San Diego's Weather Forecast

Due to the expected strength of the downpours, the National Weather Service issued a flash-flood watch effective from late this morning through early evening in coastal, valley and mountain areas below 6,500 feet.

The agency also instituted a high-surf alert for the county's beaches, extending from 6 this morning to 3 a.m. Friday. Additionally, a small-craft advisory went into effect at 6 a.m. and is set to expire at 2 a.m. Thursday.

About 2 this afternoon, following a report of a water spout in the ocean off the coast of Orange County, the NWS issued a 30-minute tornado warning for the southern reaches of that region, along with sections of northwestern San Diego County, including the cities of Carlsbad, Encinitas, Fallbrook, Oceanside and Vista.

Over a 24-hour period ending at 1 this afternoon, the blustery atmospheric system dropped 1.83 inches of precipitation in Kearny Mesa, 1.38 inches in Encinitas, 1.36 inches in Julian, 1.2 inches on Mount Laguna, 1.15 in Ramona, 0.97 in Dulzura and 0.63 at Brown Field, according to the NWS.

There were no reports of landslides or flash floods by mid-afternoon.

A third storm forecast to pack even more punch was expected to arrive in the San Diego area on Wednesday, followed by a fourth on Thursday.

An NWS advisory says those systems "are moving rapidly across the Pacific Ocean, powered by a 200-mile-per-hour jet stream, which will pick up moisture along the way into Southern California."

The agency estimated that this week's storms could generate four to eight inches of rain near the coast, and 15 to 30 inches on coastal mountain slopes. Desert areas are likely to receive between two and four inches of moisture, forecasters said.

The U.S. Coast Guard urged boaters and beachgoers to exercise caution during the spell of inclement weather, and the San Diego Police Department advised residents and ranchers in low-lying areas of the Tijuana River Valley to move their families and livestock to higher ground.

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