Storm brings showers to county

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SAN DIEGO -- The official start to winter was a wet one in the San Diego area Wednesday -- particularly in the East County highlands -- as the first and weaker of two back-to-back storms moved into the region.

The light to moderate showers that arrived with the December solstice were expected to continue Thursday morning and afternoon before petering out, if only briefly, by Friday morning, the National Weather Service advised.

Residential flooding was reported Wednesday night near Winter Garden Boulevard in Lakeside.

Over a 24-hour period ending early Wednesday evening, according to the weather service, the dark bands of clouds dropped 0.91 of an inch of moisture in Pine Valley; 0.56 in Birch Hill; 0.52 at Palomar Observatory; 0.42 in Descanso; 0.41 in Echo Dell; 0.38 at Lake Cuyamaca; 0.33 in Pine Hills; 0.32 in Campo; and 0.3 on Mount Laguna.

Other readings included 0.27 in Julian; 0.21 in Harbison Canyon; 0.17 on Dulzura Summit and in Lower Oat Flats; 0.15 in San Felipe; 0.14 on Mount Woodson and Otay Mountain; 0.12 in Granite Hills, the Lake Wohlford area and San Diego Country Estates; 0.08 in Escondido and Skyline Ranch; 0.06 in Barona, Miramar, Oceanside and Ramona; 0.05 along Los Coches Creek and in Valley Center; 0.04 at Rainbow Camp; 0.03 in Agua Caliente, Bonsall and Deer Springs; 0.02 in Borrego Springs and Carlsbad; and 0.01 at Coyote Creek, Lindbergh Field and Solana Beach.

Numerous other locales throughout the county got mere traces of rain or no measurable amount at all, meteorologists said.

Dry skies are expected for most of the day Friday before the arrival of a stronger and colder storm that night.

Forecasters warned that the second round of rains and accompanying mountain snow may cause problems for holiday travelers. The upcoming storm could drop several inches of frozen white flakes to as low as 3,000 feet Saturday.

Strong winds will be possible Friday night and Saturday, especially in the mountains and deserts, according to the weather service. Low temperatures Saturday are expected to be in the 40s at the beaches, in the high 30s to 40s in the valleys and deserts, and as low as 25 degrees in the mountains.

Milder and drier weather is expected throughout the county on Christmas Day, forecasters said.