Despite the rain from Tropical Storm Kay, people walk La Jolla Shores. Photo by Chris Stone
Despite the rain from Tropical Storm Kay, people walk La Jolla Shores. Photo by Chris Stone

Tropical Storm Kay has abruptly shifted San Diego’s weather out of an oppressive heat wave and into a period of rain, high winds and fears of flooding.

More than a half-inch of rain had already fallen at the airport as of Friday, while more than three-quarters of an inch had fallen in other areas.

A flood watch will be in place through Saturday evening in San Diego County mountains, deserts and valleys.

“Warm, windy and humid conditions will continue through this evening with occasional heavy rain bands and embedded thunderstorms moving across Southern California due to Tropical Storm Kay located about a hundred miles southwest of San Diego,” according to the NWS. “Areas of heavy rain could cause flooding problems through Saturday, as deep tropical moisture lingers across our area. Scattered thunderstorms will be possible again each day Sunday through Tuesday, as well, as Kay slowly dissipates, but stalls out, southwest of San Diego, through Tuesday. Although it will remain more humid than normal through next week, temperatures will be much more seasonal.”

Forecasters said mountain and desert areas could get 2 to 4 inches of rain, with some mountain slopes getting as much as 8 inches. Valley areas could get as much as 1 to 3 inches.

Kay had been categorized as a hurricane, but it weakened as it made landfall Thursday night, then began shifting to the northwest over the ocean. But Kay was still packing a punch, promising to bring widespread rain across the region.

While rain and flooding was considered a major threat from Kay, the storm is also bringing strong, gusty winds. Forecasters said gusts topping 109 mph were already clocked Friday at Cuyamaca Peak, while more coastal areas such as Carlsbad and Imperial Beach were seeing gusts in the 30 mph range. Gusts of up to 60 mph were still possible in mountain areas, forecasters said.

“Warm, windy and humid today with rain bands and embedded thunderstorms moving into Southern California from northern Baja California Mexico,” according to the NWS. “Very strong and gusty east winds will impact the area today with widespread wind damage possible especially in the mountains. Heavy rain with the potential of flash flooding is most likely over the mountains and deserts of San Diego and Riverside Counties.”

–City News Service