December 27, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) -- A winter storm is set to hit San Diego County Tuesday night and Wednesday, followed by chilly temperatures and up to two inches of snow down to 4000 feet in East County’s mountains and snow flurries in the high desert regions. Near zero visibility is forecast due to blowing snow and high wind gusts up to 60 mph.
Moderate to heavy rains are predicted. The National Weather Service warns that the added rainfall will cause rapid runoff and flooding due to ground saturation from recent storms.
Flooding of low-lying areas, debris flows below recently burned areas, rock/mudslides on steep terrain and further erosion of rain-soaked hillsides are forecast.
Strong gusty winds, west to northwest, will accompany this storm system, becoming strongest Wednesday night with wind gusts over60 mph in mountains and high deserts. These winds could cause broken tree limbs, downed trees and power lines.
Dry, cold northwest air flow aloft will bring temperatures that are 10 to 20 degrees below seasonal averages on Thursday and Friday, New Year’s Eve. There will be widespread frost in inland valleys both nights, the National Weather Service predicts.
People traveling late Tuesday and Wednesday should closely monitor the latest weather forecasts. Rain will cause slick roads and motorists should use extra caution. Do not drive through flooded areas or around barricades. If traveling in the mountains, be prepared for winter storm conditions, with very low wind chill temperatures.