SAN DIEGO -- A Christmas Eve storm that struck about midnight scattered small amounts of rain countywide, leaving chilly temperatures and breezy winds but no snow in its wake, a National Weather Service (NWS) forecaster said Friday.
"It should be dry Saturday and the rest of the weekend but very cold," NWS forecaster James Thomas said.
Thomas said the storm started just before midnight Thursday and lasted a couple of hours before moving on. He reported that .16 of an inch of rain fell at Brown Field, .02 at Lindbergh Field, .06 at SeaWorld, .15 in Valley Center and .12 in Alpine, .22 at Palomar Mountain and .17 at Lake Cuyamaca in the mountains.
"We will see temperatures dipping tonight into the 30s in the valleys, and it will be freezing with frost in the mountains," Thomas said.
Thomas said temperatures are significantly cooler than normal, by five degrees or more across the county, for this time of year. The holiday storm, which came down from the Gulf of Alaska to the northwest, was not part of the forewarned El Nino heavier winter rains that could be on their way, Thomas said.
"El Nino-type systems are powerful storms coming from the west to the east across the Pacific," Thomas said. "We typically see those storms in mid-winter, late January to April."
The weather will be cold and mostly sunny the remainder of the Christmas weekend. But Thomas said more precipitation could be on the way.
"We do expect one more quick-moving small system on Monday," he said. "It could come Monday afternoon and last through Monday night, with a slight chance of showers."