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Cold storm marks start of spring in San Diego area

The first storm of spring is pounding San Diego County. It began with drizzle and light showers on Sunday and Monday, but then the atmospheric river rolled in. KPBS reporter John Carroll says we’re not even close to being done with this latest storm.

Springtime is off to a wet and cold start in the San Diego area, with more rain and mountain snowfalls in store Tuesday as the region wraps up a notably stormy winter.

Periods of scattered light precipitation that marked the beginning of the week will morph into widespread showers across the county on Tuesday, the first full day of spring, according to the National Weather Service.

The storm is expected to deliver moisture levels from 1 1/2 to 2 inches along the coast, up to 2 1/2 inches in the inland valleys and as high as 12 inches in the mountains, forecasters advised.


An airport weather warning has been issued for San Diego International Airport until 11 p.m. Tuesday. Sustained winds of 25 knots or greater and gusts up to 30 knots are expected. Winds are expected to diminish gradually Tuesday night.

Accompanying the cloudbursts will be strong winds gusting up to about 55 mph along the coast and 65 mph in the East County highlands, the weather service reported.

The 1400 block of Pomona Avenue in Coronado is closed due to flooding, according to police. Authorities are asking the public to avoid the area until further notice.

A late-morning power outage left thousands of homes and businesses without electrical service Tuesday in Encinitas.

The blackout began shortly after 11 a.m., leaving 4,013 San Diego Gas & Electric customers without power, the utility reported.


The snow level will begin at 6,000 feet or so on Tuesday morning before dropping down to the 4,000- to 5,000-foot level by nighttime, according to meteorologists.

Midweek high temperatures will be 5 to 10 degrees below usual for this time of year in coastal areas and 20 to 25 degrees lower in the inland valleys and mountains, with thermometer readings in local deserts dipping about 15 degrees under seasonal norms.

The weather service has issued a winter storm watch for local mountain communities for a 24-hour period beginning at 10 p.m. Tuesday. Six inches to a foot of heavy, wet snow is expected to fall in those locales over the period, mostly above 5,000 feet.

Dry conditions should return by Thursday and prevail into the weekend, according to the weather service. The region could get more precipitation early next week, however, as another low-pressure system moves southward off the West Coast.