Winter storm will drench county, may cause flooding

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SAN DIEGO — The latest in a series of storms to soak the San Diego area in recent weeks delivered mild showers Wednesday in advance of heavier downpours expected Thursday. The rains brought a few hundredths of an inch to more than two-fifths of an inch of moisture across the county over the morning and afternoon, the National Weather Service reported. The highest precipitation tallies as of 5 p.m. included 0.41 of an inch at Birch Hill; 0.38 in Lemon Grove; 0.36 in Alpine; 0.35 at Brown Field airport; 0.32 in the Palomar area and Tijuana Estuary; 0.3 in Descanso and Harbison Canyon; 0.28 at Lake Cuyamaca; 0.27 in Chula Vista and Pine Valley; 0.26 at Mount Laguna; 0.25 in Granite Hills and Mission Valley; 0.24 in San Ysidro and University Heights; 0.23 in La Mesa; 0.21 in Flinn Springs; and 0.19 at Lindbergh Field, according to the weather service. No rainfall was recorded in the local deserts. The latest bout of wet and blustery weather prompted the weather service to issue a flash-flood watch for local mountains, valleys and high desert locales, effective from late Wednesday evening through Thursday evening. A high- wind warning also will be in effect for the mountains through 4 a.m. Saturday. By the time the storm breaks up on Thursday night, it is expected to have left behind two to three inches of moisture along the coast, three to four inches in the inland valleys and foothills, and six to eight inches in the mountains. A subsequent continuation of unsettled atmospheric conditions likely will generate more scattered local showers from the end of the workweek through Monday afternoon, meteorologist Miguel Miller said.

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