SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The third winter storm of the week arrived in San Diego County, bringing heavy rain to the region Friday along with the possibility of snow in the mountains, according to the National Weather Service.
The “atmospheric river” is making its way east across the county, with the heaviest rainfall expected early Friday morning, then scattered showers into Friday afternoon, forecasters said.
The weather agency issued a flash flood watch that was in effect through Friday afternoon in coastal areas, the western valleys and the mountains.
A winter storm advisory will also be in effect from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday in mountain locales above 5,000 feet.
The winter storm advisory warns that falling snow could reduce visibility and make travel difficult along mountain roadways.
The storm is expected to drop up to two inches of rain in coastal areas and the western valleys, up to 2.5 inches of rain in the mountains and up to 1.5 inches of rain in the deserts, according to the NWS. There is also a slight chance of thunderstorms throughout the day Friday in coastal areas and the western valleys.
Authorities warned residents in the Valley Fire burn area that heavy rainfall can lead to mudslides.
Country Club Drive in Escondido was closed just south of Harmony Grove Road due to flooding. In Spring Valley, Quarry Road was closed between state Route 125 and Lakeview Road.
Snow levels will fall to around 4,500 feet Friday afternoon. Mountains areas above 5,000 feet could get between 5 and 10 inches of snow by Friday night, forecasters said.
Winds out of the south will be between 15 and 25 mph in most areas Friday, with gusts possibly reaching 35 mph in the mountains, according to the NWS.
High temperatures Friday were expected to reach 56 degrees in coastal areas, 55 in the western valleys, 50 near the foothills, 44 in the mountains and 62 in the deserts.
Showers could linger until Friday in some areas, then dry weather is expected until another low-pressure system moves inland on Tuesday and Wednesday, forecasters said.