Winter storm closes schools in some mountain communities

SAN DIEGO - Some San Diego County school districts closed or had a delayed start Wednesday after a series of winter storms moved through the area causing dangerous driving conditions in many mountain communities.

Schools in the following districts closed Wednesday:

  • Julian Union Elementary School District
  • Julian Union High School District
  • Spencer Valley School District
  • Warner Unified School District

The Mountain Empire Unified School District will start one hour later and end at the normal time at 2:20 p.m.

Weather Radar: Track the storm as it leaves San Diego County

“Due to inclement weather which makes travel to and from school challenging, especially for high-profile vehicles such as school buses driving on icy, winding roads – schools in the following districts will be closed today,” said Music Watson, spokeswoman for San Diego County Office of Education.

“The safety of students and school staff is the utmost importance to San Diego County school districts,” Watson said.

Rainy, Snowy Weather Continues in San Diego County 

The San Diego area's notably wet winter carried on in blustery fashion Tuesday into Wednesday as the tail end of the latest storm delivered still more moisture to the soaked region.

Following nearly a week of frequent showers across the county, most communities had received at least several inches of rain as of late Tuesday afternoon, and some had gotten well in excess of six inches, according to the National Weather Service.

The local mountains were dusted with some fresh layers of snowfall as the bands of dark clouds began moving off to the southeast.

The continuing downpours upped a key measure of local precipitation -- the amount logged at Lindbergh Field -- to 1.91 inches for the 5-day-old month of February, the weather service reported. During a typical year, that figure would be 0.35 of an inch, the agency reported.

Since the beginning of the year, Lindbergh Field has gotten 4.71 inches of moisture, 2.38 inches more than usual, the weather service advised. Since Oct. 1, it has received 9.11 inches -- 3.67 inches over the benchmark norm for that four-month span.

Lindbergh Field had seen 1.78 inches of rain for the year as of this date in 2018.

By 4 Tuesday afternoon, six-day precipitation totals included 7.8 inches in the Palomar area; 7.7 at Birch Hill; 6.9 at Lake Cuyamaca; 6.4 in Mesa Grande; 6.2 in Pine Hills; 5.7 at Henshaw Dam; 5.3 in Julian; 5.0 at Mount Woodson and Volcan Mountain; 4.4 in Bonsall and Santa Ysabel; 4.3 at Rainbow Camp; 4.2 in Fallbrook; 4.1 in Descanso; 3.9 at Otay Mountain and Skyline Ranch; 3.7 in Santee; 3.6 in Ramona; 3.5 in Flinn Springs, Harbison Canyon, Oceanside and San Diego Country Estates; 3.4 in Deer Springs; 3.2 in Granite Hills, La Mesa and Poway; 3.1 in Pine Valley, Valley Center and Warner Springs; and 3.0 in Rancho Bernardo.

Among other cumulative tallies were readings of 2.9 inches at Lake Wohlford; 2.8 in Escondido and Mission Valley; 2.7 in Carlsbad and at Lake Murray; 2.5 in Kearny Mesa; 1.48 in San Marcos; 2.2 in San Ysidro; 2.1 in Ranchita and San Onofre; 2.0 at Brown Field airport and in Encinitas; 1.7 in Campo, Solana Beach and Tierra del Sol; 1.2 in San Felipe; 0.6 in Borrego Palm Canyon; 0.4 at Agua Caliente; and 0.1 in Ocotillo Wells.

Several of Tuesday's moisture accumulations broke records. In El Cajon, 0.82 of an inch was recorded, exceeding the prior Feb. 5 milestone of 0.22, set 1999. Meanwhile, Chula Vista's daily measurement of 0.63 surpassed the previous high mark for the date of 0.45, set in 1976.

Overnight, the snow level fell from about 3,000 feet to as low as the 2,000-foot level, meteorologists reported.

A weather service winter storm warning was canceled at 4 a.m. Wednesday for area mountains, cautioning visitors and residents in those locales about hazardously frigid temperatures and difficult travel conditions on icy roads.

Fair but chilly weather is expected Wednesday, followed by a mild warming trend through the remainder of the workweek.

Yet another trough of low pressure over the western United States will usher in further chances of precipitation Saturday and Monday, forecasters advised.

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