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San Diego could see snow at 2,500 feet this week

It's looking like a cold New Year's Eve
Posted at 1:27 PM, Dec 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-28 16:27:46-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego's snow levels could drop even further this week, as a winter storm moves through the county.

San Diego's mountains could see snow as low as 2,500 feet Monday, according to the National Weather Service. By comparison, places like Julian and Palomar Mountain that typically see snow in the winter sit at 4,200 ft. and 6,100 ft.

Snow levels will hover at about 4,000 ft. Sunday night and drop to at least 3,500 ft. on Monday.


Early snow totals could reach about 2 inches between 3,500 and 4,000 ft., 2 to 6 inches between 4,000 and 5,000 ft., and 4 to 10 inches possible above 5,000 ft.

A winter storm watch will go into effect 2 a.m. Monday through 12 p.m. Tuesday. NWS San Diego said the snow and rain hitting the county are likely to cause impacts to travel through mountain passes along Interstates 15, 8, and possibly 10 starting Sunday night.

Saturday, chain control wasn't in effect for State route 79 leading up to Julian or Mt. Laguna, or on Palomar Mountain, but Monday could be a different story.

Depending on the level of snow and ice, different restrictions will be in place for chain control in California throughout the season.

  • Requirement 1 (R1): Chains are required on all vehicles except passenger vehicles and light-duty trucks under 6,000 pounds gross weight and equipped with snow tires1 on at least two drive wheels. Chains must be carried by vehicles using snow tires. All vehicles towing trailers must have chains on one drive axle. Trailers with brakes must have chains on at least one axle.
  • Requirement 2 (R2): Chains or traction devices are required on all vehicles except four wheel/all wheel drive vehicles with snow-tread tires on all four wheels. Four wheel/all wheel drive vehicles must carry traction devices in chain control areas.
  • Requirement 3 (R3): Chains or traction devices are required on all vehicles, no exceptions.

If you're heading to the snow, chains aren't the only thing recommended. A full tank of gas, warm clothes, and extra snacks will make the trip, and any delays, manageable for starters:

  • Water and snacks — enough for general hunger and in case you get stuck
  • Heavy jacket, sweater, gloves, hat or beanie, snow/hiking boots, heavy socks, thermal clothing, extra clothing if desired
  • Blankets for car ride or stopping off outside
  • Toys for the snow, like sleds
  • Chapstick or sunscreen — it's still San Diego