Rain to Return This Week; Snow Expected in Mountain Areas

A wet week is in store for San Diego county, according to the National Weather Service.

A winter storm could drop snow in San Diego County mountain areas down to the 2,500-feet elevation starting Tuesday night, and snow could impact travelers on Interstate 8 between Alpine and Imperial County, forecasters said Sunday.

Rain and isolated thunderstorms with small hail are also expected elsewhere in the county Tuesday through early Wednesday. Up to three-quarters of an inch is expected along the coast and 2.5 inches in some mountain areas, but less than a third of an inch is expected in the deserts.

Snow could fall in the mountains beginning late Monday or early Tuesday, when snow levels are expected to lower to altitudes of around 4,000 to 4,500 feet, according to the National Weather Service. The heaviest snowfall is expected Tuesday night and snow levels are expected to be around 2,500 to 3,000 feet through early Wednesday.

However, the storm will be hit-and-miss, much like the storm last week that hit some mountain locations with more than two feet of snow and left others with mere dustings, said meteorologist Rich Thompson at the National Weather Service office in Oxnard.

Up to eight inches of snow could accumulate in areas above 3,500 feet, up to 16 inches above 4,500 feet and more than two feet in areas above 7,000 feet, forecasters said. Winds of 25 to 35 miles per hour with gusts of around 75 mph are expected along desert mountain slopes.

A winter storm watch is set to take effect Tuesday morning for mountain areas including Boulevard, Campo, Cuyamaca, Descanso, Julian, Mount Laguna, Pine Valley, Santa Ysabel and Warner Springs. Interstate 8 has three summits above 4,000 feet in East County.

“A winter storm watch means there is a potential for significant snow, sleet or ice accumulations that may impact travel,” according to the weather service statement.

Blowing snow and dense fog could cause visibility to be reduced to near zero, especially Tuesday night. Motorists on mountain roads, including Interstate 8 in East County, should prepare for hazardous conditions and were urged to check road conditions before embarking on their travels.

The NWS advised drivers in mountain areas to carry tire chains along with extra food and clothing.

“This weather may be deadly for unprepared campers and hikers,” the NWS warned.

City News Service


  • Cross of Murdoc

    Will the weather start to change soon?
    I don’t know where you are or how it has been in your neighborhood,but it’s been crazy hot where I stay. Will it ever go back to normal? Scared will we see less snow this year. My guess is that it’s all global warming, and I’m starting to notice it. It should be way cooler shouldn’t?

  • Al

    don’t confuse weather with climate. even with a slow progression towards a warmer global climate, you can still have regional cold and normal periods. As for snow, in general, if the temperature is below freezing, we should expect more snow because warmer air holds more moisture.
    References :

  • Sean M

    I wouldn’t go so far as to all it "global warming". Climate is over the course of decades. We are talking more seasonal/short term atmospheric conditions here. Actually, "La Nina" has returned this year, so generally we can expect drier warmer winters in the Southwest, central plains, and southeast (generally most of the United States) while it is very wet and cold in the northwest.

    But this is a general trend. Some regions may not always follow this same trend. For example, I live in southern California where we are expected to see below average rainfall and a bit warmer temps. Last winter (when La Nina was also present) we actually saw ABOVE average rainfall, and just this week we had an early season winter Pacific storm sweep through and drop over an inch of rain as well as snow to the local mountains. Our temperatures this week were around 20-30 degrees cooler than the avergae this time of year! The overall average rainfall is right around 15 inches each year, so already we have put a dent in with that early season storm.

    Just goes to show it varies. Generally most areas will follow the typical La Nina trend, but like I mentioned, sometimes areas like southern California will break the trend.

    Here’s hoping it cools down for you!
    References :
    Trained National Weather Service and Skywarn weather spotter

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