Stormy skies Tuesday as the storm began to descend on the county. Photo credit: @NWSSanDiego, via Twitter

The first storm of this year’s rainy season moved into the San Diego area Tuesday, bringing significant showers, along with scattered thunder and lightning.

The atmospheric collision of one low-pressure system out of the south and another, colder one making its way along the coast from the north hit the county by late afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

The wet and unsettled conditions will continue through Thursday night. The heaviest rainfall is expected to fall Wednesday, meteorologist Miguel Miller said.

Due to the intensity of some of the downpours, the NWS this afternoon issued a flash-flood watch, effective through late Wednesday. The watch is active in local mountains, valleys and coastal areas.

SeaWorld officials announced they will close the park Wednesday due to the forecast. They plan to reopen at 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

As of 4:15 Tuesday afternoon, according to the weather service, the bands of dark clouds had dropped:

  • 2.09 inches of rain in Valley Center
  • 1.38 in Rincon Springs
  • 1.29 in Deer Springs
  • 1.16 in the Palomar Mountain/Pala area
  • 0.96 in Escondido
  • 0.77 in Skyline Ranch
  • 0.75 in La Jolla
  • 0.71 at Lake Wohlford

Other rainfall totals ranged from 0.7 of an inch in Rancho Bernardo to 0.09 or less in El Cajon, Encinitas, Kearny Mesa, Del Mar and Carlsbad.

By 4 p.m., the NWS had tallied 24 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes in the San Diego region.

In addition, temperatures across the county are expected to drop 15-20 degrees below average Wednesday. The cold conditions led the Housing Commission to gear up to aid homeless people in the region.

That will push the snow level down to around 6,000 feet. That’s about 500 feet lower than the highest local mountaintops, forecasters said.

The storm system followed unseasonable heat over the weekend. The weather service said the rain will move out of the area over the course of the day Thursday.

There will be a slight chance of showers late Friday into early Saturday, then mostly dry conditions will prevail into early next week.

– City News Service

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