The latest in a lengthy spate of blustery storms making for a wet and icy winter in the San Diego area brought more widespread precipitation and stiff winds to the region Wednesday, but Thursday will be sunny and warmer after a cold morning.
By late Wednesday morning, the unsettled atmospheric system out of the northwest, which moved over the county early in the workweek, had delivered more than three inches of rain in some areas, scattered hail and upward of 10 more inches of snow in the mountains, the National Weather Service reported.
Two-day rainfall totals as of 10 a.m. Wednesday included 3.38 inches at Henshaw Dam; 2.24 in Skyline Ranch; 1.82 in Santa Ysabel; 1.8 in Alpine and Deer Springs; 1.71 in Valley Center; 1.48 in Fallbrook; 1.46 in Campo; 1.43 in Valley Center; 1.39 at Lake Wohlford; 1.3 on Otay Mountain; 1.28 at Dulzura Summit; 1.25 on Mount Woodson; 1.24 in Oak Grove; 1.18 in the Granite Hills area; 1.12 in Bonsall; 1.06 in Ramona; 1.03 in Carlsbad; and 1.01 in Escondido, according to the NWS.
Among other 48-hour moisture tallies were 0.87 in Rancho Bernardo; 0.86 in Vista; 0.85 in La Mesa; 0.79 in Santee; 0.74 in Oceanside; 0.72 in Poway; 0.55 in San Onofre; 0.47 in Kearny Mesa; 0.45 in National City; 0.38 in Encinitas; 0.28 in Point Loma; 0.25 in Borrego Springs; 0.19 in Agua Caliente and Mission Valley; 0.12 at San Diego International Airport; and 0.05 in Ocotillo Wells.
At midday, white-out conditions were reported on Palomar Mountain, where 10 inches of new snow had increased the icy white drifts to as deep as 34 inches, meteorologists said.
The frosty conditions and accompanying travel hazards in the East County highlands prompted the Julian Union, Mountain Empire, Spencer Valley and Warner Unified school districts to close their campuses for the day.
Among the heaviest wind gusts generated by the storm as of late Wednesday morning were readings of 86 mph on Palomar Mountain; 77 mph on Volcan Mountain; 68 mph in Pine Valley; 67 mph in Julian; 60 mph on Mount Woodson; 47 mph at Ramona Airport; 46 mph in Escondido; 45 mph at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas; 43 mph in Carlsbad and Elfin Forest; and 40 mph in Coronado and Solana Beach.
The strong winds out of the west continued Wednesday night, but the precipitation ended in the evening, making way for clearing skies and temperatures low enough to generate widespread frost in the local valleys, and even some in coastal areas, the NWS advised.
Dry conditions and gradually warmer days will prevail Thursday through Saturday, after which a low-pressure canopy to the north will bring slight cooling to the region, along with increasing winds in the mountains and deserts and a slight chance of more precipitation next week, forecasters reported.
Highs on Thursday will around 60 along the coast, around 59 in the western valleys, 52 to 57 near the foothills, 44 to 54 in the mountains, and around 70 in the deserts.
Updated at 7:30 a.m., Thursday, March 2, 2023
City News Service contributed to this article.