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Finally, Rain Is On The Way To San Diego County

The National Weather Service precipitation forecast is shown in this graphic.

Credit: National Weather Service

Above: The National Weather Service precipitation forecast is shown in this graphic.

Finally, Rain Is On The Way To San Diego County

GUEST:

Alex Tardy, meteorologist, National Weather Service

Transcript

After months of record breaking bone-dry weather dominated by a massive ridge of high pressure, a significant storm is finally on its way to San Diego County.

After months of record breaking bone-dry weather dominated by a massive ridge of high pressure, a significant storm is finally on its way to San Diego County.

“Luckily, we do have this one storm breaking through the ridge to give us some rainfall,” said meteorologist Dan Gregoria with the National Weather Service.

The storm system, projected to arrive Monday night and continue through Wednesday morning, could deliver a substantial punch, Gregoria said.

Finally, Rain Is On The Way To San Diego County

“We’re expecting in San Diego anywhere from a half- to one inch, possibly locally higher,” Gregoria said.

Flooding and erosion are possible, especially in recent burn areas from the Lilac fire. But Gregoria said the storm will blow through quickly.

“Once it exits the area on Wednesday, that ridge re-establishes itself over Southern California,” he said.

San Diego saw a similar relentless high pressure pattern during its five years of drought. The condition was nicknamed the “ridiculously resilient ridge,” which acted like an invisible wall or dome that blocked storm systems from pushing through.

A reprieve came last winter when a steady lineup of atmospheric river systems dumped a deluge across San Diego, pulling the region out of drought conditions.

Gregoria said so far this winter, the long plumes of moisture from the subtropics are out of reach for San Diego.

“It requires the jet stream to dive further south and have these Pacific storms move inland,” he said. “They’ve stayed well off to the Pacific northwest.”

NOAA’s three month winter outlook shows a continuation of dry conditions — bad news for the region's already parched canyons and hillsides.

“January, February, even into March you can see the Southwest states and Southern California — continued below average rainfall is expected,” Gregoria said, pointing to a computer graphic.

But in the near future, rain is headed this way, and Gregoria is encouraging people to enjoy it while it lasts.

“It’s finally here,” he smiled. “This rain we’re looking forward to does help with our water supply at least a little bit.”

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