Following a sunny weekend, rain and snow were slated to descend on San Diego County starting early next week, making for potentially dangerous driving conditions for those traveling through the mountains, forecasters said Friday.
The storm was expected to start Sunday night, though the heaviest rain and snowfall is forecast for Monday morning.
A winter storm watch is set to go into effect from 2 a.m. Monday through noon Tuesday, warning of snowy weather impacting interstates 15 and 8, as well as other mountain highways. Gusty winds were expected to accompany the snow, further reducing visibility along mountain roadways.
Up to 2 feet of snow was expected in areas above 6,000 feet, though snowfall was expected in areas as low as 2,500 feet, according to the National Weather Service.
Similar snowy mountain conditions during this week’s winter storm led authorities to shut down portions of Interstate 8 and state Route 79 Thursday.
On Friday, county residents hit the mountains for snowball fights, snowman building and sledding after the chain restrictions were lifted on Sunrise Highway in the morning.
Parking spots along the popular sledding areas along Sunrise Highway were hard to find during the day.
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The NWS recorded 10 feet of snow in Palomar Mountain, and 8 feet in Julian during this week’s storm.
Moderate rainfall was expected in the county’s coastal and desert areas through Monday night, according to the NWS. More than a half-inch of rain could hit the coasts and valleys, bringing a potential for minor flooding.
The storm was expected to diminish beginning Tuesday afternoon.
During this week’s storm, Escondido received the most rainfall over the last 24 hours at 1.73 inches. Other notable totals included 1.64 inches in Deer Springs, 1.62 inches in Oceanside, 1.60 inches in Ramona, 1.56 inches in San Onofre and 1.53 inches in Skyline Ranch.
— City News Service
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