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Environment

Homeless Shelters Open As Spring Storm Hits San Diego

KPBS Staff
Rain falls in Bankers Hill, March 22, 2017.

Two inclement weather homeless shelters downtown will be open again as a spring storm moves through San Diego County Wednesday. Forecasters predict light showers, brisk winds and a slight chance of thunderstorms.

Father Joe's Villages at 1501 Imperial Ave. has room for 250 people. Check-in begins at 4 p.m., and guests must be out by 5 a.m. the next day. PATH San Diego/Connections Housing at 1250 Sixth Ave. can accommodate 30 people. Guests can check in from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and must leave by 7 a.m.

Meals will be provided at both locations.

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The shelters are opened when temperatures are 50 degrees or lower or there is at least a 40 percent chance of rain, according to the San Diego Housing Commission, which oversees homeless programs.

The storm has already dropped .51 of an inch of rain on Volcan Mountain; .32 of an inch in Birch Hill; .31 of an inch at Lyons Peak; .19 of an inch in Julian; .16 of an inch in Pine Hills; .15 of an inch in Mesa Grande; .12 of an inch in Santa Ysabel; .11 of an inch in Descanso; and .10 of an inch at Lake Cuyamaca, according to the National Weather Service.

Lesser rainfall amounts were recorded in most coastal and valley areas, including at Camp Pendleton and Lindbergh Field, and no precipitation was measured in the deserts.

Anticipated rainfall amounts expected through tonight include .55 of an inch in Julian; half an inch on Mount Laguna; .45 of an inch in Alpine; .38 of an inch on Palomar Mountain; .27 of an inch in Ramona; a quarter-inch in the Miramar area; .21 of an inch in Escondido; .19 of an inch in San Diego; .14 of an inch in Oceanside; and .03 of an inch in Borrego Springs, according to the National Weather Service.

"The biggest threat to public safety might be a mostly wet afternoon commute (Wednesday)," according to the weather service. "Flooding is not a concern unless an isolated burst of rain from a thunderstorm fills a street with water briefly."

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Winds of 15 miles per hour with gusts of 25 mph are expected during the day along the coast and in the valleys, with gusts at the beaches ramping up to about 30 mph tonight.

RELATED: San Diego City Council Approves Storm Declaration

In the mountains, winds of 20 to 30 mph with gusts of 50 mph will increase slightly tonight to 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 55 mph. Wind speeds will similarly rise in the deserts, from 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph to 20 to 30 mph with gusts of 45 to 50 mph starting this afternoon.

Increasing winds and seas off the coast prompted officials to issue a small craft advisory that will remain in effect from 9 p.m. Wednesday until 5 p.m. Thursday. Forecasters said there would also be a slight chance of afternoon and evening thunderstorms over coastal waters.

RELATED: San Diego Water Officials Declare Drought Over

The storm system is expected to exit the region Thursday morning and will be followed by fair weather Friday. But forecasters said a second storm system could bring another round of showers this weekend.