Late December storm creates hail, snow and funnel clouds

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Rainy roadsSAN DIEGO – Stormy conditions brought thunderstorms, lightning strikes and snow through the county Sunday.

“These lightning strikes are left over from a cold, unstable air mass aloft,” National Weather Service forecaster James Thomas said.

Thomas said lighting strikes first appeared over the ocean in the Pt. Loma area at 10:45 a.m. Other strikes were reported near Cabrillo National Monument and in rural East County in Jamul and Alpine throughout the day.

Large amount of pea-sized hail pelted fans at the Chargers game and those nearby. Thomas said hail typically forms in such existing cold, unstable weather conditions.

Residents throughout the county witnessed funnels clouds flying in the sky.

Rain showers and thundershowers were expected to continue into the evening in the county.

“The showers will probably wane after 10 p.m.,” Thomas said.funnel-cloud

Thomas said weather will clear Monday with partly cloudy skies. Highs were expected to be chilly, with a maximum of about 60 degrees predicted at Lindbergh Field.

The storm brought snow to higher elevations causing officials to issue an advisory. Chains were being required in county mountain areas, a CHP dispatcher said.

“There is a traffic advisory for Sunrise Highway leading to Mt. Laguna, Highway 79 through Cuyamaca State Park leading to Julian and Olde Highway 80, and chains are required,” the dispatcher said.

JulianThe dispatcher said chains were also being required on Mt. Palomar, where snow was reported falling above the 3,000-foot level.

Chains are being required on vehicles traveling in both areas until further notice.

The chain requirement went into effect at 5:42 a.m. for Sunrise Highway and Highway 79, and at 1:51 p.m. on Palomar Mountain, the dispatcher said.

A chain requirement is issued by the San Diego County Road Department, which is also responsible for plowing mountain highways during snow events.

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