SDG&E warns customers that incoming storm could cause unplanned outages on Tuesday
The North Pacific storm, which is drawing extra moisture from the subtropics, is expected to drop 1 to 2 inches of rain at and near coast, about 3 inches inland and up to 5 inches at Palomar Mountain.
San Diego Gas & Electric has warned its customers that the big storm expected to hit San Diego County on Tuesday could cause unplanned power outages, primarily due to the fierce winds that will rake the coast and inland foothills.
The National Weather Service said the system will move into North County about 4 a.m. Tuesday and spread south and east, dropping 1 to 1.5 inches of rain at the coast, 2 to 3 inches in the foothills and up to 5 inches at Palomar Mountain.
The storm, which is drawing warm, unstable moisture from the subtropics, also will generate winds that could hit or exceed 50 mph at local beaches and coastal bluffs and slightly weaker gusts across inland areas.
Forecasters said the winds will race ashore around 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., at roughly the same time that the storm front moves ashore with heavier bands of rain that will last into Tuesday afternoon. The rain will weaken for a while then regain strength on Tuesday night and produce substantial rain that will last into Wednesday.
The weather service said the unstable air could produce thunderstorms that would result in heavier-than-anticipated rainfall, which in turn would produce street flooding, water ponding on local freeways, and possibly mudslides in various parts of the county.
Some of the heaviest rain will fall on Palomar Mountain, which had recorded 49.77 inches of precipitation since the rainy season began on Oct. 1. That’s 19.36 inches above average.
Initially, the system will drop snow at or near the upper peaks of the San Diego County mountains. The snow level will drop to the 4,000- to 4,500-foot level late Tuesday night and on Wednesday.
The rain is more of a concern than snow for public works crews. The landscape is saturated from a seemingly endless string of Pacific storms, many of them beefed up by moisture from the subtropics. The rain contributed to a cliff collapse at Black’s Beach in January and created a massive sinkhole on state Route 78 in Oceanside last week.
On Wednesday, the conversation will shift to the cold air. The daytime high in San Diego is only expected to reach 59, which is 8 degrees below average. Communities across the region will be 5 to 15 degrees cooler than normal.
Got a weather question? Email Gary Robbins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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