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First Of 2 Pacific Storms Made For Soggy Morning Commute In San Diego

 December 23, 2019 at 10:28 AM PST

Speaker 1: 00:00 It may be a white Christmas for some people in San Diego County, the snow level is expected to drop as this cold wet storm continues through mid week. For the rest of us, it's just a wet, slippery, cloudy and Chile holiday making visits to friends and families. And last minute Christmas shopping a bit more difficult. Joining me is national weather service meteorologist Alex tardy. And Alex, welcome. Thanks for having me on. Let's talk first about this possibility of snow in the mountains. When and where could that happen? Well, actually with our first storm moving in today, uh, we're seeing widespread rain and it's just cold enough on the top of Mount Laguna at 6,000 feet. It's 37 degrees. And it, we're starting to see some wet flakes, but it's not sticking. So we don't want to get too excited and we're not really expecting it to stick other than maybe a little bit of slush. Speaker 1: 00:52 But the next storm that comes in quickly on Wednesday, Christmas day, and then especially Christmas night, that's almost certain to a guarantee, a white Christmas for areas like up around Mount Laguna and Palomar mountain. And of course lots of people are off this week. They may want to drive up to see the snow. What should they keep in mind? You gotta go prepared and really expect the worst, you know, bring chains. All it takes is an inch or two of snow that sticks on the road and a few spin-outs and the roads are a mess and traffic is all backed up. So bring extra blankets, you know, bring different clothes. Your feet are probably going to get wet. So different shoes come prepared and know that, um, at any moment Caltrans can post the chains and sometimes that can be all vehicles, even foible drive. So they really recommend carrying the chains if you're really going to go, uh, right in the middle of the storm, like on Christmas day or even the day after Christmas. Speaker 1: 01:48 Okay. So it poured this morning. Is that amount of rain expected to last through today? Yeah, it did pour, um, woke me up this morning. It was really coming down hard. Most coastal cities from Oceanside all the way down to downtown San Diego saw about an inch of rain. So that's a, that's a pretty healthy storm for us. We see the storm pulling out now, so we expect just for tonight and Tuesday, Christmas Eve, just some scattered showers. So the type of situation where, you know, bring the umbrella, bring the jacket, but most likely you'll be able to escape, uh, any real rain over the next 24 hours. Now on Christmas day it's a different story, uh, because by the afternoon, the late afternoon after we're kind of antsy and been sitting around all morning and we want to get out and, and do something, we do expect the rain to be widespread for Christmas day, evening and really all night into the morning hours on Thursday, a real soaker, widespread rain with probably most places where everyone lives on the coast, seeing another inch or two on top of the rain. Speaker 1: 02:55 We just saw this morning. Are there any flash flood warnings expected for a firm that reign? It actually is enough rain that we're a little bit concerned about some urban flooding all the way from like ocean side down to San Diego and that would be mainly Christmas day, night and Thursday morning. But we're also concerned about the bigger rivers like the San Diego river right now it's looking like that river will have some flooding and we'll probably get up to around 11 feet if not slightly higher. So for the low lying areas in the shopping areas, if you're returning gifts on the 26 do expect for some closures down in mission Valley Thursday morning because of that heavy rain that comes through on Christmas. Now this is a cold storm or let's say a cold ish storm, but I read that this was what they call a pineapple express dorm that travels across from Hawaii. Speaker 1: 03:49 Isn't that usually a warmer storm? Yeah, actually these storms are coming all the way down from the North. Uh, the origins of the storm like we had today and the one for Christmas day and Thursday, they're, they're literally the, the source of the storm even though it's modified and warmed somewhat when it gets here, the source of the storm is coming all the way down from Alaska. Um, and taking a direct dive into Southern California. Now it does tap into some moisture from, from the subtropics, but overall, the nature of the storm, I would call it, uh, definitely call it more of a polar type storm. When we get the pineapple express storms, those are so warm that you have rain all the way up to 9,000 feet and it's just miserable for the ski resorts. This type of storm is really beneficial for the ski resorts up at big bear. Speaker 1: 04:38 And even like we talked about for getting some snow Wednesday night and Thursday amount Laguna cause they're, they're much colder source from the, from these storms. Okay. So what about the rest of California? Is this storm system widespread across the state? It is widespread, but believe it or not, um, the storm track that we saw today coming right into Southern California and the one we're going to see literally a dive into Southern California directly from the North, uh, Wednesday and Thursday is very favorable for Southern California. So in other words, um, if you have friends up in Sacramento, Stockton or something, or we're actually going to get more rain here in San Diego for Christmas day and Thursday, then they're going to get in Northern California. So this, this kind of track of the storm is really favorable. Um, even though everyone gets rain and all the mountains get snow, uh, we're kind of the ground zero. Speaker 1: 05:33 We're, we're taking the direct hit in Southern California with this particular storm track. Well, I guess the good news about these storms is that they shouldn't be turning around the near drought that we were entering. How close are we to average rainfall now? Yeah, it's been quite remarkable, especially in Southern California. It's been, it's been really opposite of, of any normal year where we've been sharing the brunt of the storms since Thanksgiving day. That storm really kicked it off. We're now over five inches for San Diego. Our annual average is 10, a little over 10, so we're about 50% of the way if it were not to rain again. So, and then we're expecting another inch or two rain on Wednesday and Thursday. So we're doing really well. We're basically two and a half times more than we should be for any average year. So you could safely say we've started off the year, uh, very wet, uh, here in San Diego County. Speaker 1: 06:29 I saw that there is another storm expected next week, the week of new year's. Yeah, we've been kind of struggling with that storm, uh, in terms of where exactly it's going to go. But the bottom line is, uh, it looks like a dry weekend. So Friday, Saturday, Sunday looks dry. If you're out, uh, heading to the mountains or doing other plans or going to visit relatives, it looks dry Friday, Saturday, Sunday, once that rain ends on Thursday. But you're right. Um, right before new year's, there's still a good possibility that we're going to see some more rain. Um, and, and it's the same type of storm where it's coming directly from the North. So it does look cold enough that even our higher train, we'll see more snow. The only uncertainty with that storm is, is how strong will it be? Will, will we be a direct hit, like we see Christmas day and Thursday or will it just kind of brush us by? Um, so we're a little uncertain seven days out, but if you do have plans for December 30th and 31st, right before new year's Eve, do check the forecast because there is still a good chance we could see some more rain and snow. Uh, that Monday, Tuesday, I've been speaking with national weather service meteorologist Alex tardy and Alex rain or shine have a happy holiday. Yeah. Same to you. Thank you.

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Rain that began Sunday afternoon in Southern California and carried on through the night made for a soggy morning Monday in San Diego, further complicating matters for people trying to reach their holiday destinations or wrap up their Christmas shopping.
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