A Caltrans snow plow on state Route 79. Photo courtesy Caltrans

The second late-January winter storm to arrive in the San Diego area brought more downpours, mountain snow and high winds to the region Monday.

As of early Monday evening, the inclement conditions had delivered up to about three-fifths of an inch of precipitation along the coast and in the local deserts, a little more than an inch in the inland valleys, and almost 2 1/3 inches in parts of the East County highlands, according to the National Weather Service.

Topping the 24-hour rainfall tallies as of 5 p.m. were 2.31 inches on Big Black Mountain, 1.79 at Henshaw Dam, 1.76 in Mesa Grande, 1.58 in Pine Hills, 1.35 in Descanso and 1.34 in Pine Valley, the weather service reported.

San Diego County snowfall totals included 7 inches in Julian, the Mount Laguna area and Warner Springs; 2 inches in Ranchita; and a half-inch in Boulevard.

The blustery conditions generated some notable winds across the county, including gusts with readings of 69 mph on Volcan Mountain; 65 mph at Fletcher Cove in Solana Beach; 58 mph on Otay Mountain; 56 mph in Crestwood and Del Mar; and 55 mph in Mission Beach and Potrero.

The storm created some public-works problems across the region, including a flooded freeway ramp on southbound Interstate 805 to state Route 52 in University City, shortly before 6 a.m.; a large downed tree across the roadway on East Grade Road at Conifer Road in Pauma Valley, about 8 a.m.; and another toppled tree blocking traffic lanes at Muir College Drive and North Torrey Pines Road in La Jolla, about 7:30 a.m., California Highway Patrol reported.

Travel impacts were expected to be severe along Interstate 8 in the East County highlands due to snow and ice, while the blustery conditions will likely be most intense in coastal communities, with sustained winds of 25 to 35 mph, and gusts up to 50 mph or even higher, meteorologists advised.

The NWS has issued a winter-storm watch that will remain in effect through Monday evening in the East County highlands, a high-surf advisory until 6 p.m. Tuesday in local coastal areas and a gale warning through 10 p.m. Tuesday for ocean waters from San Mateo Point to the Mexican border.

The unsettled atmospheric pattern is expected to move out of the area Monday evening, ushering in several days of dry conditions in advance of yet another storm expected to move over the San Diego area Thursday night or Friday, according to the NWS.

Updated at 7:45 p.m. Jan. 25, 2021

–City News Service

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