SAN DIEGO — A flash flood warning was issued for parts of the San Diego region as a storm pummeled Southern California Saturday afternoon.
Rainfall totals of a half-inch to almost a full inch of rain an hour were recorded in northwest San Diego County, the National Weather Service said. The amount of rain could cause dangerous flooding in Oceanside, Carlsbad, Temecula, Vista, Encinitas, Del Mar, Fallbrook, Valley Center, Camp Pendleton, and parts of the San Diego city limits including University City.
Moderate rain was expected to continue until about 5 p.m., forecasters said. A wind advisory was also in effect across much of the county until 6 p.m., and an advisory for dangerous surf conditions at local beaches was in effect until 6 a.m. Sunday.
Winds could reach 30 to 40 mph at San Diego International Airport.
The NWS warned that this is a dangerous situation. The storm is capable of producing widespread wind damage across the San Diego area, especially in the San Diego Bay.
NWS asked everyone to immediately seek shelter inside a sturdy structure and stay away from windows.
Inland-valley areas were expected to get from 1 to 1.4 inches of rain by the end of Saturday, while coastal areas would see around 1 inch, NWS meteorologists said. Between 1.4 and 2.2 inches was forecast for the county mountains and desert areas will get around a quarter-inch of rainfall.
“Low-water crossings in many areas will likely flood at some point as larger rivers and streams more quickly develop channel flow, including the San Diego River in Mission Valley,” NWS forecasters said in a statement.
The NWS issued precautionary actions to take if flooding occurs, stating most flood deaths occur in vehicles. They asked everyone to avoid driving through flooded roadways.
Rain is expected to continue through Sunday afternoon then the third storm cell will bring lighter precipitation Monday morning through Tuesday, NWS meteorologist Stephanie Sullivan said, adding that the break between the final two storm cells is not expected to be as definitive as after the first.
To report severe weather in your area, contact your nearest law enforcement agency. They will send your report to the National Weather Service Office in San Diego.
This is a developing story, check back for updates.