Light rain today, but tomorrow - oh boy

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Rain arrived in San Diego on Thursday and we saw just a touch of rain throughout the day, a powerful storm moving in overnight is expected to punch the region with heavy rain and strong winds.

We're looking at the possibility of flash flooding, road hazards and high winds through much of the weekend.

Rain Watch

Here's what the National Weather Service is predicting - up to 3 inches of rainfall in coastal and valley areas, 3 to 5 inches in the mountains and up to an inch in the deserts - all of which could pose a strong threat.

A flash flood watch for coastal, valley and mountain areas will be in effect from late Thursday night to Saturday afternoon.

Here in the San Diego area, low water crossings of the San Diego River in Mission Valley will be particularly susceptible to flooding. Other trouble spots will be in the mountains and in recent burn areas where we could see some debris flows.

What does all this mean for you? 10News Weathercaster Ashlee DeMartino gives us a quick rundown:

Wind Watch

A high wind watch for mountain and desert areas will be in effect late tonight to Saturday evening. We're looking at sustained south-to-southwest winds of 25 to 35 mph and gusts of up to 60 mph.

A slightly less serious wind advisory for coastal and valley areas will be in effect from 4 a.m. Friday to 1 p.m. Saturday with sustained south-to-southwest winds of 15 to 25 mph and gusts up to 35 mph.

Surf Watch

Rough surf and strong rip currents can be expected along local beaches. The weather service scheduled a beach hazards statement from late tonight to Sunday afternoon, saying 8 to 12 foot surf with sets to 15 feet is possible by Saturday afternoon and evening.

Also, a gale watch for mariners off the coast of San Diego County will be in effect from late tonight to late Friday night. A gale watch is issued when the risk of gale-force winds of 34 to 47 knots has significantly
increased.

Road Watch

Although the rain was light Thursday morning, it did cause problems for some commuters. 10News Reporter Joe Little was on the road and stopped to talk to some folks involved in a crash on I-805 southbound at Sweetwater. Watch the video:

In addition to the slick roads, drivers should watch for road hazards. Wind gusts could cause problems as well.

"Gusty winds will make driving difficult, especially for motorists of high profile vehicles," an NWS advisory said. "Watch for broken tree limbs and other debris."

Home Watch

In preparation for the storm, the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department announced it has a limited number of sandbags available to residents (up to a limit of 10) at fire stations in:

  • Ocean Beach
  • Sports Arena area
  • Pacific Beach
  • Kearny Mesa
  • San Ysidro
  • Rancho Bernardo
  • Scripps Ranch
  • Tierrasanta
  • Rancho Penasquitos
  • Santaluz
  • Pacific Highlands.
  • Bags also are available from lifeguard stations in Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, La Jolla Shores and Pacific Beach.

Folks who live in La Mesa can stop by the Public Works Operations Center at 8152 Commercial Street to pick up free sandbags. They will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. The limit is 10 bags per household.

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