Friday begins with wet, windy commute

SAN DIEGO – Widespread rain continued around the county early Friday, causing slick conditions for the morning commute.

Rain showers began Thursday and became heavy at times overnight. Several minor crashes and spin-outs were reported on area roadways. No major crashes were reported, however.

Widespread rain fell overnight. In a 12-hour period ending at 4 a.m., automated gauges in the mountains collected 1.87 inches of rain in Birch Hill; 1.54 at the Palomar Observatory; 1.25 in Pine Hills; 1.14 at Lake Cuyamaca; .97 in Mesa Grande; .96 in Santa Ysabel; .93 on Mt. Laguna; .92 in Descanso; .90 on Volcan Mountain; and lesser amounts in numerous other locales.

Among the amounts recorded elsewhere in the county were 1.01 inches at Camp Pendleton and in Encinitas; .98 of an inch in Solana Beach; .97 in Deer Springs; .94 in Carlsbad, Escondido and Vista; .91 on Mt. Woodson; .90 at San Onofre; .88 in Fallbrook; .82 in Bonsall; .81 in San Marcos; .79 at SeaWorld San Diego and in Valley Center; .69 at Lindbergh Field; .67 in Poway; .43 in San Ysidro; .03 in Borrego Springs; and .01 in Ocotillo Wells, according to provisional data from the National Weather Service.

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The showers are expected to begin tapering off later Friday as the moisture exits to the east, "leaving residual showers only in the mountains this afternoon," forecasters said. The gusty winds that have been whipping though the region will also die down.

A NWS high wind warning for the mountains and deserts is set to expire at 8 p.m. Winds of 20 to 40 miles per hour  will be possible, along with gusts of up to 60 in some locations, possibly in the Anza-Borrego Desert, and to 80 mph on mountain ridgetops.

"Winds are roaring in parts of the mountains and deserts with isolated ridgetop gusts exceeding 70 mph," according to the NWS.

Forecasters said the gusty winds may kick up dust and sand in some areas, skewing visibility.

"Strong winds can make driving difficult, especially for drivers of high-profile vehicles and vehicles towing trailers," according to the weather service. "Winds this strong may down trees and power lines and cause property damage."

A less-severe wind advisory for the coast is set to take effect at 3 p.m. and extend until 2 a.m. Saturday. Winds of 15 to 25 mph and gusts to 35 mph are expected during the advisory period.

Cooler, drier weather is expected after the storm passes, according to the weather service.

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