Early Friday morning, rain fell at a rate of near three-tenths of an inch per hour in the southwestern reaches of the county, according to the National Weather Service. Between 6 and 8 a.m., more than 1 inch of moisture accumulated in some areas, including Bonita, Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, National City, Pacific Beach and San Ysidro. By 10 a.m., the downpours had broken the previous rainfall record for the date at Lindbergh Field, the NWS reported. The total of 1.38 inches that had fallen at the bayside airport since midnight topped the previous Dec. 13 milestone of 0.47 of an inch, according to the federal agency. In addition to numerous roadway accidents, the wintry storm caused flooding that necessitated the rescue of a man trapped in a torrent near Dairy Mart Road in San Ysidro and sent a 6-foot-diameter boulder tumbling down a Poway hillside and crashing into an unoccupied residential garage in the 13700 block of Vian Road, authorities said.
Standing water prompted temporary street closures in various sections of San Diego, including the Midway district and Point Loma, according to police. The California Highway Patrol, meanwhile, responded to dozens of accidents per hour over the morning, including one that killed a 32-year-old mechanic who was working on a broken-down school bus when it was rear-ended by a car alongside Interstate 805 in North Park.
Due to predicted wind-driven snow this afternoon and evening, forecasters issued a "winter weather'' advisory for local mountains locales, including Cuyamaca, Julian and Mount Laguna, effective through 4 a.m. Friday.
By early evening, the downpours had largely petered out across the county, leaving behind rainfall levels higher than had been expected prior to the storm's arrival, the weather service reported.
Over a 24-hour period ending at 6 p.m., the NWS recorded 1.84 inches of precipitation in Poway; 1.77 in Valley Center; 1.72 in the Fashion Valley area of San Diego; 1.71 at Brown Field airport in Otay Mesa; 1.59 in Bonsall and on Palomar Mountain; 1.57 in Escondido; 1.54 in Rancho Bernardo; 1.47 at Montgomery Field; 1.41 on Mount Woodson; 1.38 in the Lake Murray area; 1.37 at Lake Henshaw; 1.34 in La Mesa and Santee; 1.01 in Oceanside and at Ramona Airport; 0.96 in Solana Beach; 0.92 in Point Loma; 0.9 in Carlsbad; and 0.84 in the Granite Hills area of eastern El Cajon. Snowfall in the East County highlands was expected to continue through the evening, laying down up to six inches of powdery white flakes in higher locations and lesser amounts in lower elevations, possibly as far down as the 3,500-foot level. Travelers in those locales were advised to be prepared for hazardous conditions, including icy roads and restricted visibility. Some light mountain snowfall could continue into Friday night and resume Sunday, according to the weather service. Friday will likely bring partly cloudy skies to most parts of the San Diego region, with a roughly 70 percent chance of light showers in the evening. The weekend should feature similar conditions, with considerably lessened potential for a bit more scattered precipitation, forecasters predicted.
–City News Service