Wednesday, January 20, 2010
The third storm of the week was expected to pound San Diego County today, bringing with it stronger winds and heavier rain than the two previous storms, which flooded roadways and toppled trees, including one that killed a woman.
The National Weather Service said the strongest wind and rain of the storm series that first struck the region early Monday will be from late this morning through late tonight, and again Friday afternoon.
A rare storm surge is expected to raise the risk of coastal flooding today through Saturday, prompting the Weather Service to issue a coastal flood watch effective from this morning through Saturday evening.
The potential for coastal flooding results from a combination of high surf with 15 to 20-foot breakers, strong south-to-southwest winds with gusts greater than 50 miles per hour, overland runoff from heavy rains, and high tides just under 5 feet, according to the Weather Service. The agency issued a high surf advisory effective through late Sunday morning.
Beach areas most likely to sustain extensive erosion and overflow during today's surge include La Jolla, Del Mar and Cardiff. The surge may also cause damage to local piers, jetties and sea walls, according to the Weather Service.
Forecasters advised even the strongest swimmers to stay out of the water.
Boaters are also advised to think twice before launching. A small craft advisory will be in effect from San Mateo Point to the Mexican border from late tonight through late Saturday night.
A gale watch will be in effect from 10 a.m. today through late tonight.
NWS forecasters estimated that this week's storms could generate a total of 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 rain, forecasters said.
In the 24 hours preceding 9 p.m. Tuesday, 1.15 inches of rain fell in the Palomar Mountain area, .65 inches in Valley Center, .82 inches in Poway and .78 inches in Santee, according to the Weather Service. At Lindbergh Field -- San Diego's official reporting station -- .53 inches of rain fell between 9 p.m. Monday and 9 p.m. Tuesday.
Rainfall figures for Monday were significantly greater than Tuesday's counts, with several areas recording more than an inch of rain between early Monday morning and Monday evening.
The California Highway Patrol received well over 150 accident reports on both Monday and Tuesday. The agency typically receives between 50 and 75 accident reports a day.
San Diego Gas & Electric reported mass power outages this week caused by strong winds.
Shortly before 3 p.m. Tuesday, a tree roughly 10 feet in diameter fell on a mobile home at a Flinn Springs trailer park, San Diego County sheriff's Lt. Mike Munsey said. Emergency crews found a dead person inside the crushed residence in the 15100 block of Olde Highway 80. The San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office later identified the victim as Linda Jane Flick, 58.