A powerful Pacific storm buffeted the San Diego area Friday with heavy rain and stiff winds, vexing motorists in particularly drenched areas while delivering a healthy dose of moisture to the parched region.
Rain and strong winds were reported in central San Diego as another band of heavy rain moved into the county at the start of the evening commute. Check out the Vine from 10News Reporter Preston Phillips - this was just outside the newsroom doors.
As of early evening, the downpours had forced scattered minor mudslides and road closures across the county but had caused no reported significant damage.
Flooding was reported on Mission Beach Boulevard, in Point Loma, the Midway District and many other locations.
One victim of the storm was a large advertising sign for a car dealership in Kearny Mesa. The sign did not shatter as it fell, but it stunned the people nearby.
Paul Amini is sales manager for the Siry Auto Group.
“Around 12, we heard a crash," he said. "The sign fell on two SUVs, made quite an impact.”
Both SUVs suffered significant damage and the sign was hauled away for repairs.
Several 10News viewers sent in photos showing damage around the county, including downed trees.
In Chula Vista, strong winds knocked over part of a tree into a condo unit on Otay Valley Circle off Main Street, damaging the roof. No one was injured.
Precipitation amounts by then ranged from less than one-tenth of an inch along the coast to more than five inches inland, according to the National Weather Service.
Over a 24-hour period ending shortly after 6 p.m., the NWS recorded 5.12 inches of precipitation at Palomar Observatory; 4.33 in Birch Hill; 3.28 at Henshaw Dam; 2.83 in Oak Grove; 2.68 in Valley Center; 2.22 in Julian; 2.05 on Volcan Mountain; 1.96 at Lake Cuyamaca; 1.94 in Santa Ysabel; 1.81 in Barona; 1.74 at Lake Wohlford and in Warner Springs; 1.66 on Mount Laguna; 1.29 on Otay Mountain; and 1.15 in Descanso.
Farther west, the totals included 1.86 at Ramona Airport; 1.81 in Fallbrook; 1.66 in Bonsall; 1.61 in Escondido; 1.43 in Oceanside; 1.09 in Rancho Bernardo; 1.05 in Poway; 0.9 in La Mesa; 0.84 in Carlsbad; 0.82 in Flinn Springs; 0.77 at Montgomery Field; 0.67 in Mission Valley; 0.62 in Solana Beach; 0.53 at Lindbergh Field; 0.49 at Brown Field; and 0.36 in Harbison Canyon.
The showers -- a definite local rarity in recent months -- ushered in some all-too-familiar rainy-day headaches on local commuter routes.
Between midnight and 6 p.m., the California Highway Patrol logged 452 crashes, as compared with the 50-75 the agency generally handles over a full day of fair weather. The wrecks led to widespread congestion but resulted in no reports of serious injuries.
Showers and strong winds were expected to continue through the weekend.
Some slushy snow was likely to accumulate on the county's highest peaks late Friday and early Saturday morning, NWS meteorologist Alex Tardy said.
To help residents and merchants deal with the storm, the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department distributed sandbags at fire stations in Ocean Beach, the Midway area, Pacific Beach, Kearny Mesa, San Ysidro, Rancho Bernardo, Scripps Ranch, Tierrasanta, Rancho Penasquitos, Santa Luz and Pacific Highlands.
The empty sacks also were made available at lifeguard stations in Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, La Jolla Shores and Pacific Beach, with users responsible for filling them, using beach sand if so desired.
A flash flood watch was in effect until late Saturday night for coastal, valley and mountains areas. Mountain areas near where the Chariot, General and San Felipe fires occurred are especially susceptible to debris flow.
Beach areas also are subject to a coastal flood warning Friday because high surf is expected. In issuing the coastal flood warning from 6 a.m. Friday to 1 a.m. Sunday, the NWS said the local surf will build to 8 to 12 feet with sets to 15 feet by Saturday afternoon.
A high surf advisory will be in effect from 4 a.m. Saturday to 4 a.m. Monday.
"Coastal flooding could cause damage to beach-front property if proper precautions are not taken," the agency said. "Large and rough surf, along with strong rip currents, will create hazardous conditions for swimmers and surfs."
For mariners off the coast of San Diego County, a small craft advisory and a gale warning for fierce winds are both in effect Friday.
Strong winds are also expected throughout the rest of the county Friday, particularly in mountain and desert areas, where sustained south to southwest winds of 25 to 35 miles per hour and widespread gusts up to 60 mph are expected. Isolated gusts of up to 75 mph in the most wind-prone areas are also likely, according to the weather service.
A high wind warning for the mountains and deserts is in effect until 6 a.m. Saturday.
A slightly less serious wind advisory is in effect for coastal and valley areas until 8 p.m. Saturday. According to the weather service, coastal and valley areas will likely see sustained south to southwest winds of 20 to 30 mph and gusts up to 40 mph.