Wet week fading as sunny skies likely for weekend


A blustery storm front drenched and frosted the San Diego area for a fifth straight day Friday, delivering a wet, icy and snowy finale to the spate of severe winter conditions.

After the wet week, sunny skies are expected this weekend, followed by warmer temperatures and overall fair weather on Monday, according to the weather service. Forecasters predict that rains may return Tuesday and Wednesday, though in considerably milder form than those that hit this week.

The surf will remain high along beaches through Sunday night, particularly today into Saturday, when breakers over 20 feet are possible on the outside reefs, according to the NWS. A coastal flood watch remains in effect until 4 a.m. Saturday and a high surf advisory until 2 a.m. Monday.

The latest round of cloudbursts proved less torrential than those that arrived Thursday, when steady downpours and powerful winds flooded roadways by the dozen, felled trees throughout the county, shut down schools, delayed train service, canceled scores of airline flights and forced the first climate- related closure at SeaWorld since 1998.

The National Weather Service estimated that a total of up to an inch of rain was possible today at the coast, 1.5 to 2 inches in the foothills and 2 to 3 inches on coastal mountain slopes.

Over a six-hour period ending at 11 a.m., the unstable atmospheric system dropped 0.72 inches of precipitation at Lake Henshaw; 0.63 in Descanso; 0.58 in Coyote Creek Canyon; 0.4 in Santa Ysabel; 0.39 in Julian; 0.32 in Rincon Springs; 0.27 in Tierra del Sol; 0.25 in Santee; 0.22 in Kearny Mesa; 0.17 in Bonita; 0.16 in Escondido; 0.12 in La Mesa; 0.11 in downtown San Diego; and 0.04 in Carlsbad and Encinitas.

During the same approximate time span, roughly 10,000 residences and businesses in the county lost power for a time due to the storm, according to San Diego Gas & Electric.

At daybreak, the California Highway Patrol reported snowfall in the East County highlands, starting at about the 4,000-foot level, and was advising motorists to avoid the Julian area for the time being due to hazardous road conditions. Tire chains were required for those driving on the Sunrise Highway,

the CHP advised.

Through the week, firefighters trained in swift-water rescue came to the aid of a number of motorists who ill-advisedly attempted to drive through flooded stretches of road and became stuck.

Though the main front of this week’s fourth storm had left the region by this morning, a flash flood watch remained in effect through this afternoon for coastal, valley and mountain areas below 4,500. Mountain locales also were under a winter storm warning scheduled to expire in the early evening.