Driving rain in Del Mar just before 3 p.m. Photo by Chris Jennewein
Driving rain in Del Mar earlier this month. Photo by Chris Jennewein

Updated at 3:30 PM, Saturday Jan. 30

The National Weather Service office in San Diego is warning that a powerful Pacific storm will dump up to an inch of rain in coastal and inland areas of San Diego County beginning Saturday night. The worst of this cold, wet and windy winter storm is expected on Sunday night.

“A powerful winter storm will bring strong and potentially damaging winds Saturday night though Monday,” the weather service said in a briefing for news media on Friday.

The storm’s greatest impact is expected to be Sunday and Sunday night when the passage of a strong cold front will bring the strongest winds, heaviest rain and mountain snow. Gale force winds are expected over coastal waters.

The NWS issued a high wind warning for the mountains and deserts beginning Sunday at 6 p.m. through Monday at 6 p.m. Wind gusts could reach as high as 85 mph in the mountains.

A high surf advisory is in effect until 10 p.m. Saturday for San Diego coastal areas, warning of strong rip currents and minor beach erosion expected from 8-foot sets.

The snow level could drop to the 3,000-foot level by Monday morning. Up to an inch of rain is forecast for San Diego’s coast and inland valley, as much as three inches in the mountains. Minor urban flooding is likely, according to the weather service.

The expected storm is keeping crews busy clearing out drainage areas. The Farmers Insurance Open professional golf tournament at Torrey Pines has moved tee times earlier Sunday in an attempt to avoid the harsh weather.

Rainfall totals are forecast at 0.5 to 1 inches in the coasts and valleys, 1.5 to 2.5 inches in the mountains and .25 to .5 inches in the deserts. Snowfall could reach 10 to 20 inches above 7,000 feet.

The San Diego area will be partly cloudy on Saturday ahead of the storm with highs in the mid to upper 60s. Temperatures will fall to the low to mid 50s on Saturday night. A warming trend is expected next week.

City News Service contributed to this article.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.