Coming rain storm could be sign of wet winter ahead

Possible El Niño conditions could last all season

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - As San Diego braces for the first rainstorm of the season, weather experts say it could be a sign that this winter will be wetter than usual. It could even have El Niño-like conditions.

"They're saying more of an El Niño type scenario is building in for this winter," says National Weather Service Meteorologist Adam Roser says of the weather models he sees. "That can trigger a wetter season."

Wednesday's storm could drop anywhere from 0.1 to 0.5 inches of rain across the county. It will be the first measurable rain since March 17, 2018.

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San Diego's "water year" runs from October 1st - September 30th. The one that just ended only had 3.34 inches of rainfall. A typical year gets 10.3 inches.

There is both good news and bad news with an early storm like what's coming this week. Roser says the good news is that the extra rain will help with the drought. Right now, San Diego is in a Severe Drought condition. While one storm won't end it, every bit of rain helps.

The bad news: because the ground is so dry, there's potential for flash flooding. Dry soil can't soak up water very quickly, so any storm that dumps a lot of water in a short amount of time could lead to dangerous floods. And with recent wildfires scorching the ground, there's a lot of loose soil and debris that could get washed away.

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"Light amounts (of rain) at spaced out times are best," says Roser. "We don't want this all to come down in a big thunderstorm."

Stay with 10News for complete forecasts and coverage of the storm as it moves across the county.

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