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More Rain Takes Aim At San Diego County

Video

More Rain Takes Aim At San Diego County

Aired 12/15/14 on KPBS Midday Edition.

More Rain Takes Aim At San Diego County

GUESTS:

Jason Foster, Director of Public Outreach and Conservation, San Diego County Water Authority

Candace Vanderhoff, Founder and CEO, RainThanks and Greywater

Another round of rainfall is expected to sweep through San Diego County on Tuesday and Wednesday, adding to what has already been one of the wettest Decembers ever in the region.

So far this month, Lindbergh Field has accumulated 3.58 inches of rain, making it the fifth wettest first half of December since 1850. In contrast, last year’s rainfall from Dec. 1 through Dec. 15 totaled 0.12 of an inch.

The coming low-pressure system will pack less of a punch than the previous two storms, according to the National Weather System. Still, coastal regions could receive about a half-inch of rain, and inland regions are expected to get up to an inch.

“Instability could be sufficient for a few rumbles of thunder with heavier showers, especially on Wednesday,” the weather service said in a Facebook post. “Weather conditions will impact commutes on Tuesday to Wednesday.”

Climate Prediction Center

The Climate Prediction Center is projecting above average rainfall for San Diego County over the next three months, as of Dec. 15, 2014.

In the mountains, rain will turn to snow on Wednesday, according to the weather service, and up to 3 inches of snow could accumulate above 5,000 feet.

A winter weather advisory for San Diego County's higher peaks — including Cuyamaca and Mount Laguna — is scheduled from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday. A winter weather advisory is issued when periods of snow are expected to make driving dangerous.

During the advisory period, sustained winds of 25 to 35 miles per hour and gusts up to 45 mph are also expected in higher mountain areas.

"Residents and travelers into higher elevations in the mountains should be prepared for hazardous driving conditions due to slick roads," the weather service said. "If possible, carry chains and take extra food and clothing."

A high surf advisory is scheduled to remain in effect until noon Wednesday. In issuing the high surf advisory, the weather service said 5 to 8-foot waves with sets to 10 feet are likely Tuesday.

"A large, long period west-northwest swell will bring high surf and strong rip currents to the beaches today through Wednesday morning, with the highest surf occurring this morning," the weather service said. "The surf will gradually subside tonight and Wednesday."

Water officials are urging residents to capture the rain from their rooftops into rain barrels, which could save dozens of gallons of reusable water.

"We need to take advantage of every opportunity of these rainfall events to save water," said Jason Foster, director of public outreach and conservation with the San Diego County Water Authority on KPBS Midday Edition. "Not just during times of drought, but we need to make this ...part of our permanent way of life in terms of being water efficient."

Candace Vanderoff, founder of Rain Thanks & Greywater, said rain barrel overflow can be stored in an easy-to-make rain garden to conserve even more water and prevent runoff.

"It’s just a depression in the yard and you can fill it with gravel or mulch and the water soaks in," she said, "and then you have thousands of gallons of water stored in the soil on your property."

Foster said San Diego County Residents can get $75 rebates on up to four rain barrels. On top of that, the city of San Diego is offering residents a dollar-per-gallon rain barrel rebate on up to 400 gallons.

The long-range forecast shows a continued break in the current dry spell, deemed one of California’s worst droughts ever. Climate Prediction Center models show San Diego County with above-average rainfall over the next three months.

Naval Research Laboratory

This water vapor image shows low pressure systems in the Pacific, that are expected to move across San Diego County, Dec. 15, 2014.

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