First of 3 storms brings thunder, lightning to San Diego

SAN DIEGO -- The first in a spate of three storms in the forecast for the San Diego area through the coming weekend delivered widespread downpours Thursday along with some thunder and lightning.

The fast-moving storm system swept in from the northwest in the late morning and dropped anywhere from a few hundredths of an inch to nine-tenths of an inch of moisture in the county over the day, the National Weather Service reported.

Among the highest precipitation tallies as of 4 p.m., according to the NWS, were 0.91 of an inch in Oceanside; 0.75 in Palomar and San Onofre; 0.62 in Lemon Grove; 0.61 in Carlsbad; 0.6 in Encinitas; 0.58 in La Mesa; 0.53 in Bonsall, Mission Valley and Pine Hills; and 0.52 on Birch Hill and in Fallbrook.

Other late-afternoon rainfall totals included 0.46 in San Marcos and Solana Beach; 0.45 in Chula Vista; 0.41 in Del Mar and Kearny Mesa, and at Lindbergh Field; 0.36 in Julian; 0.34 in La Jolla; 0.3 in Mission Beach; 0.28 in Escondido and Rancho Bernardo; 0.24 in Poway and San Diego Country Estates; 0.18 in Alpine, Barona and El Cajon; 0.16 in San Ysidro; 0.11 in Pine Valley; 0.08 in Descanso and on Dulzura Summit; 0.07 in San Felipe; 0.06 on Otay Mountain; and 0.03 in Borrego Palm Canyon.

The intensity of the some of the cloudbursts prompted the weather service to issue an urban and small-stream flood advisory for central San Diego County through 7:30 p.m. The alert warned of potential public hazards due to runoff and ponding water in such communities as Carlsbad, Chula Vista, El Cajon, Encinitas, La Mesa, National City, Oceanside, Poway and Vista.

The showers were expected to dissipate early Thursday evening, making way for partly cloudy skies as January turns to February.

A stronger unsettled atmospheric system is due to arrive Friday night, bringing heavier rainfall throughout the county until Saturday evening, according to meteorologists.

The final bout of inclement weather in the storm series will reach the region by Sunday morning and bring lighter precipitation before moving off Monday night, forecasters said.

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