Snow falls in the mountains, rain everywhere else

SAN DIEGO - Light to moderate rain swept across coastal and valley areas of San Diego County early Monday as snow fell in the mountains.

Six-year-old Cayley Stark played hooky from her Lakeside school to see the snow with her mom, three-year-old sister and their new Chocolate lab, Molly. She let out a devilish laugh after asking 10News to say hello to her teacher. Her mom said there wasn't much snow, but it was perfect for her to spend the day with her girls.

Seeing those big smiles on little faces brings Laguna Mountain Lodge co-owner, Tom McWay, a lot of joy.

"Mostly, it’s the little kids that come up, and they’ve got their new outfits from Christmas, and their new sleds," McWay explained. "They’re just in awe, they’ve never touched it before, and they’re just happy as a lark to go out there and get cold."

The McWay family has owned the lodge since 1975. In the eight years since he and his brother took over, he says this is the worst yet. On a typical winter weekend their 29 rooms are all booked up. Only five were occupied this past weekend. Last month they were easily down 30-40% compared to other years.

He said the fire hurt them, and as they were recovering, federal shutdowns forced them to close campgrounds, and since then, they've hardly had any snow.

The National Weather Service had issued a winter weather advisory for mountain areas above 4,500 feet until noon, but the advisory was lifted at 9:30 a.m. when  the storm moved out earlier than expected.

It wasn't much, but McWay says he's just happy to see customers' smiling faces because it makes his days go by faster.

Cayley didn't go without learning an important lesson. On the walk with Molly, Mom explained what yellow snow is, and after a quiet pause, she only said, "Oh".

As of 6 a.m. -- before the rain departed coastal and valley areas – the California Highway Patrol recorded 40 crash reports on rain-slick local highways and freeways. The CHP said it typically receives 50 to 75 crash reports during a 24-hour period on a "good weather" day.

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