Saturday storm part of isolated system


The storm that broke a 164-day rainless streak at Lindbergh Field was an isolated system that did not set up a rainy pattern for San Diego County, a National Weather Service meteorologist said.

“The high pressure (system) is back in control again,” said Stan Wasowski of the NWS. “The high pressure system is so huge, it stretches from 300 to 400 miles south of San Diego up to the Pacific Northwest.”

Wasowski said don’t expect more rain this week as “northeast to east winds” progressively warm daytime temperatures. The NWS forecasts highs this week in the mid-60s downtown and high-60s or low-70s in the valleys.

It could take several weeks to break down the high pressure system and send the normal winter storm track toward San Diego, he said.

Saturday’s storm brought a paltry .12 inch of precipitation to the airport, which is San Diego’s official reporting station, said the meteorologist said.

More impressive rain totals above a half-inch were recorded in the inland valleys and more than an inch came down in the East County foothills and mountains, according to NWS records.

Rain-dampened roadways resulted in 257 crashes reported to the California Highway Patrol between midnight and 6 p.m. Saturday, compared to 50-75 collisions on a normal weekend day, CHP Officer Jesse Udovich said.

The storm was accompanied by snow that dusted the tops of Palomar Mountain and Mount Laguna, and strong waves that caused treacherous conditions for boaters in the Mission Bay Channel and the lifeguards who rescued them.

Two boats, including a lifeguard rescue boat, overturned in the channel Saturday, sending two people to hospitals with injuries that were not life-threatening.