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Steady Rain, Thunderstorms Expected Across San Diego County

Raindrops on a windshield near San Diego State University, Nov. 29, 2018.
Erik Anderson
Raindrops on a windshield near San Diego State University, Nov. 29, 2018.
Steady Rain, Chance Of Thunderstorms Expected In San Diego County
Steady Rain, Chance Of Thunderstorms Expected In San Diego County GUEST: Alex Tardy, meteorologist, National Weather Service

It's a rare occurrence but thanks to a low pressure system. Rain is falling across our area and it will continue to do so over the next day or so. It is both a welcome and unwelcome sight as it is needed to minimize the risk of wildfires yet it's causing a number of headaches on the roads with accidents and slow traffic. How long will the rain last and how much of an impact will it leave Alex Hardy a meteorologist with the National Weather Service joins me to explain. Welcome Alex. Thanks for having me on. So first Alex how much rain have we gotten so far so in the San Diego Metro area yesterday and a little bit overnight we picked up just under an inch. So about three quarters of an inch. Some places saw a little bit more than that. So how much does the idea of rainfall over the last couple of days compare to what we typically see in a season or even a year. Yeah so the good news is now we are about where we should be for an average year we're a little bit over two inches in San Diego. When you compare that to last year this time we had almost no rain at the start of the water season. It was that dry. A big difference. And you know this is an area that doesn't see a lot of rain. So when we do have a lot of rain fall what are some of the environmental challenges. So one of the biggest issues is the runoff from the rain. So if your storm drains are not cleared out whether it's at your house or on the streets you can immediately have problems with the water backs up and you have some flooding. The other issue is travel. When you drive in the rain it's bad anywhere in the country. Well when your tires are not adequate you're not used to driving in the rain or let's say it's the first rain over the past two weeks type of thing. There's a lot of oil on the road creates really slick conditions and our roads are already you know busy and congested on a sunny day. So it doesn't take much and hasn't been enough rain to cause a lot of flooding. Not a lot of flooding yet we've seen some good rises on the San Diego river. Some of our small streams have run really hard. But nothing that's leaving the banks. We are seeing a little bit of flooding yesterday Sorento Valley those areas and that's normal to see the low lying areas flood first. The rain this evening will test us more. And I read that a low pressure system is coming into Southern California and it's causing all of this rain. Can you explain how that works. Yes so last week the rain that came through was a big cold front that moved through really quick. This one's a low pressure area. So it's slower moving just a strong but slower moving. Right now it's over Catalina Island and it's what brought really heavy rain to Malibu this morning. L.A. County this morning and heavy snow to the grapevine that's going to slowly come our way. And what can we expect the rest of today. So we're in the break right now mid day. We're going to see the showers start filling back in after 2:00 o'clock I'd say during the dark hours is what we're going to see our most problems in San Diego County so after 5:00 p.m. during the commute unfortunately probably all the way up into about midnight will see waves of heavy showers and some of those showers will be heavier than what we saw yesterday. So instead of just a little bit of nuisance flooding we might see a little more significant flooding and certainly the Sandigo river is going to have a sharp rise that could get up close to nine feet as all that water drains down into the basin. So the rain is going to come in in waves. And there have been a number of crashes on the wet highways is the rain expected to continue during the evening commute. You I think the evening commute will be the majority of the rain all the way from five to eight o'clock looks like a really wet commute for San Diego goers. For those who make it home safely hopefully after eight o'clock and you're still need to travel there's still going to be a lot of heavy showers around all the way up into about midnight tonight. So people need to be careful and both patient at the same time. What about Friday and into the weekend. Well so the good news is that we can get a little break. This rain will be out of here mostly by midnight tonight with a few showers lingering when most people are sleep. But it looks like for the weekend dry conditions seasonable temperatures will feel a little cool in the morning. But the sun will come out and we'll have light winds and really nice temperatures getting up through the 60s in the afternoon. So enjoy this weekend a lot of the fields and a lot of areas will still be really damp from this rain because now we're talking about two big rain events basically in the past week and will this trend sort of continue through December the month of December. In the long range projections does look active especially for anywhere in California. Now whether those storms make it down here it does look like the middle of the month. So mid mid december all the way up until just before Christmas we have a shot of getting at least two more storms. They may not be as strong as the one we're seeing this evening but any rain will take a little bit above normal. And we've got to stay at that pace in order to make this a good wet season. So don't put those umbrellas yet don't put umbrellas away yet. We'll try to keep Christmas Day dry of course but we are expecting at least a couple of more weather systems for the month of December and that's a really good start to this water year. All right. You know speaking of Christmas what about Christmas travel across the country. Yes Christmas travel across the country. There are some weather systems that we're watching closely there a little bit too far out but it does look like the west coast will be busy right before Christmas in terms of some active weather snow in the mountains snow in the higher terrain rain in much of California. It's too early to say if Christmas Eve or Christmas Day will be impacted. But yeah it does look active on both sides of the coast with storms coming into California then moving to the east coast during the week of Christmas. All right. I've been speaking with Alex tarty a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. Alex thank you so much. Thanks for coming on.

The second winter storm to roll across the region in a week is expected to drop moderate but steady rain throughout San Diego County Thursday and bring a slight chance of thunderstorms in coastal areas, forecasters said.

The low-pressure atmospheric system sweeping through Southern California is expected to keep producing local showers through late Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

In a 24-hour period ending around 3 a.m., the storm had dropped around a half-inch of rain in Fallbrook and Oceanside, seven-tenths of an inch in Escondido, three-quarters of an inch in Ramona, eight-tenths of an inch near the San Diego International Airport, six-tenths of an inch in La Mesa and around a half-inch in San Ysidro, according to the weather service.


Before making its exit Thursday night, the storm will drop up to an inch along the ocean shoreline, around three-quarters of an inch in the western valleys, up to one and one-quarter inch in the mountains and up to a half-inch in the deserts, forecasters said.

Isolated thunderstorms will be possible in coastal areas Thursday before the storm system moves northeast out of the region late Thursday night, weather service meteorologist Miguel Miller said.