SAN DIEGO - The second of two storms to pass through Southern California this week doused the San Diego area Monday with heavy rainfall, causing widespread flooding and traffic troubles as an unusually wet winter continued saturating the region.
As of late afternoon, Lindbergh Field had received more rain this season -- 10.38 inches since Oct. 1 -- than its annual average of 10.33 inches, the National Weather Service reported.
By 4:30 p.m., the showers also had set daily precipitation records at Palomar Mountain, with 5 inches (exceeding the prior Feb. 27 milestone of 2.05, set in 1983); Escondido, with 2.28 inches (exceeding 2.25, set in 1938); Campo, with 2.23 inches (exceeding 0.84, set in 1951); Alpine, with 1.72 inches (exceeding 1.1, set in 2003); El Cajon, with 1.43 inches (exceeding 0.9, set in 1983); Vista, with 1.22 inches (exceeding 0.76, also set in 1983); and Chula Vista, with 1.22 inches (exceeding 0.4, set in 2001).
A flash-flood watch for local coastal, inland-valley and mountain areas below 5,000 feet was slated to remain in effect through late Monday evening.
Over the 24-hour period ending at 5:15 p.m., according to the NWS, the unsettled atmospheric system dropped 4.38 inches of moisture in Mesa Grande; 4.26 on Birch Hill; 4.03 in Otay Mountain; 3.99 at Henshaw Dam; 3.98 in Pine Hills; 3.95 at Lake Cuyamaca; 3.38 in Julian; 3.16 in Descanso; 3.12 in Valley Center; 3.1 at Miramar Lake; and 3.08 in Santa Ysabel and Skyline Ranch.
Other precipitation tallies included 2.98 at Ramona Airport; 2.87 in Poway; 2.74 on Volcan Mountain; 2.68 in Barona; 2.64 in La Mesa; 2.6 on Mount Laguna; 2.48 in San Ysidro; 2.45 at Dulzura Summit and in Echo Dell; 2.44 in Harbison Canyon; 2.43 in Rancho Bernardo; 2.4 in San Diego Country Estates; 2.31 in Kearny Mesa; 2.25 in Carlsbad; 2.22 in Flinn Springs; 2.1 in Rincon Springs; 2.05 in Oak Grove; 2.01 in Santee; 1.91 at Montgomery Field airport; 1.81 in Mission Valley; 1.72 in Encinitas; 1.7 in Warner Springs; 1.62 in Tierra Del Sol; 1.53 in Solana Beach; 1.47 in Fallbrook; 1.35 in Point Loma; 0.43 in Borrego Springs; and 0.36 in Ocotillo Wells.
Road flooding and debris hazards were reported in various parts of the county, including stretches of Airway Road in Otay Mesa; Avenida del Rio, Camino de la Reina and Hotel Circle North in Mission Valley; Callan Road in Torrey Pines; Carroll Canyon Road in Sorrento Valley; Country Club Drive and Harmony Grove Road in Harmony Grove; Fifth and Huffstatler streets in Rainbow; Garnet Avenue in Pacific Beach; La Jolla Boulevard in La Jolla; Lemon Crest Drive in Lakeside; Hanson Lane and Ramona Street in Ramona; Roselle Street in Sorrento Valley; and eastbound state Route 78 in Julian; Wildcat Canyon Road in Barona.
Between midnight and 4 p.m., the California Highway Patrol logged 509 collisions on freeways and rural roads in the county. During an entire day of dry weather, by comparison, the agency typically responds to about 140 crashes.
Through late Monday evening, snow was expected to fall as low as the 4,000-foot level, with three to six inches of frozen flakes accumulating in East County highland communities and up to eight inches on the highest mountain peaks, the NWS reported.
The showers should decrease overnight and cease altogether during the morning Tuesday, giving way to clearing skies and slight warming, according to forecasters.
From Wednesday through Friday, a high-pressure zone off the California coast and surface high pressure over the Great Basin will deliver dry weather and a continuing uptick in local temperatures, meteorologists said.