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STRONG WINDS, HOT WEATHER AND A CHANCE OF RAIN FORECAST

East County News Service
 
April 20, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – A heat wave is forecast for today through Thursday, with temperatures up to 96 degrees in the desert and 90-90 degrees in inland valleys.  Strong winds with gusts up to 65 miles per hour in the mountains and up to 55 mph in the deserts are also predicted.
 
There is a chance of drizzle and light rain tonight through Thursday afternoon in coastal, valley and desert regions.

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“DAMAGING” WINDS FORECAST FOR MONDAY AND TUESDAY, ALONG WITH SNOW AND FOG IN MOUNTAINS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Miriam Raftery: storm clouds over Spring Valley

March 14, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – Very strong, “damaging” winds are forecast for Monday and Tuesday in San Diego’s mountain and desert regions. West winds with gusts of up to 70 miles per hour will create dangerous driving conditions for high-profile vehicles due to strong winds particularly on I-8 near Jacumba Hot Springs, as well as reduced visibility due to blowing dust in desert areas.


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RAIN BRINGS URBAN RUNOFF TO BEACHES: COUNTY HEALTH URGES PUBLIC TO STAY OUT OF THE WATER

Source: County of San Diego

 

Photo: CC by SA

 

March 10, 2021 (San Diego) - The San Diego County Department of Environmental Health and Quality (DEHQ) has issued a General Rain Advisory to avoid water contact at all coastal beaches and bays due to recent rainfall. Swimmers, surfers, and other water users are warned that rain brings urban runoff, which can cause bacteria levels to rise significantly in ocean and bay waters, especially near storm drains, creeks, rivers, and lagoon outlets. Urban runoff may contain large amounts of bacteria from a variety of sources such as animal waste, soil, and decomposing vegetation. Bacteria levels can remain elevated after a rainstorm depending upon the intensity of the storm, volume of runoff and ocean conditions. Many coastal storm drains have permanent warning signs; however, additional warning signs are not posted for General Rain Advisories. Water contact such as swimming, surfing and diving should be avoided during rain and for 72 hours following the rain event.


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STORMS BRING HIGH WINDS, COLD TEMPERATURES AND SNOW AT LOW ELEVATIONS

East County News Service

March 10, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – A multi-day storm is expected to continue today through Friday, with chilly temperatures and heaviest rainfall today. Snow could drop as low as 3,500 feet tonight and tomorrow, the National Weather Service predicts.

Treacherous travel and traffic delays are possible through mountain passes, including on I-8 in San Diego’s East County and I-15 in Riverside County due to freezing conditions and reduced visibility in snow and fog. Winds  with gusts up to 60 miles per hour could bring damage to temporary structures such as tents and canopies.


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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: FLOCKING TO DESCANSO’S SNOW

East County News Service

January 29, 2021 (Descanso) -- Richard Edwords sent this photo of his flock of chickens experience a blanket of newly fallen snow at his home in Descanso.


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FLASH FLOOD WATCH: ATMOSPHERIC RIVER BRINGING HEAVY RAIN AND SNOW

By Miriam Raftery

January 28, 2021 (San Diego’s East County)—A flash flood watch has been issued for San Diego County’s mountains, valleys and coatstal areas from 7p.m. Thursday to 4 p.m. Friday due to an atmospheric river moving across Southern California . The storm is forecast to bring widespread moderate to heavy rain and snow, with flash flooding possible.  If you encounter a flooded roadway, the Sheriff advises to "turn around, don't drown" since only a few inches of swiftly flowing water can quickly carry a vehicle into deeper water and submerge it.

Deep snow accumulations in the mountains will lead to difficult travel and chain restrictions for vehicles.  The storm is forecast to drop two to five inches of snow in local mountains. Snow levels are expected above 5,000 feet Thursday, dropping to as low as 4,500 feet by Friday. There is also a chance of thunderstorms, according to meteorologist Samantha Connolly with the National Weather Service.


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PHOTO OF THE MONTH: COOL POOL

East County News Service

January 27, 2021 (Descanso) – How cold was it this week in East County? Cold enough to freeze over a swimming pool in Descanso.  Thanks to Allen Walker Entertainment for sending in this startling image of lawn chairs perched atop the iced-over pool that resembles an outdoor skating rink.

Readers, please send us your winter pics to editor@eastcountymagazine.org


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CHP ISSUES "SNOW ETIQUETTE" GUIDELINES

East County News Service

File photo by Billy Ortiz

January 22, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) -- With heavy snow forecast in our local mountains over the next several days, the California Highway Patrol asks the public to practice good “snow etiquette” when visiting the Mount Laguna/Julian area.

The advisory aims to protect public safety, assure that travelers have chains or snow tires, respect private property, and help keep our mountain areas clean for residents. Law enforcement will be present enforcing these guidelines and laws.


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HEAVY SNOWFALL FORECAST FOR MOUNTAINS, POSSIBLE FLOODING IN URBAN AREAS

File photo: San Diego County snow plow in the Laguna mountains

January 22, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) – Two cold winter storms are forecast to sweep into our region.  The first will bring widespread rain this weekend with snow at higher elevations. The second, a much stronger storm, is forecast to bring heavy rains and possible urban flooding, also dropping the snow level down to below 3,000 feet in mountain and high desert areas Monday and Tuesday.

The first storm Friday night and Saturday could bring 1 to 5 inches of snow and possible thunderstorms. Storm two could bring up to 10 inches of snow in the mountains as well as heavy rainfall downpours in urban areas. Both storms will also bring gusty southwest winds and near-gale force winds over coastal waters as well as high surf and hazardous marine conditions.


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STRONG SANTA ANA WINDS TO ROAR INTO REGION

By Miriam Raftery

January 15, 2021 (San Diego) – Santa Ana winds are forecast to roar into our region, bringing high fire danger Friday and Saturday along with soaring temperatures up to 20 degrees above  normal.

SDG&E has announced possible public safety power shutoffs to more than 11,000 customers across San Diego County’s mountain and rural communities. For updates, see the outage page at www.SDGE.com.

The National Weather Service warns that “strong, damaging Santa Ana winds” are expected to again be likely Monday through Wednesday—along with likely high fire danger if humidity remains low.


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SNOW BLANKETS MOUNTAINS; WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT THROUGH TUESDAY MORNING

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Laguna Mountain Lodge webcam

December 28, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Heavy snow has fallen on Mount Laguna, while a lighter dusting of snow has blanketed the Cuyamaca and Julian communities. Elsewhere across the county, the cold winter storm brought much-needed rain.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning through Tuesday. Elevations over 5,000 feet such as Mount Laguna may receive 14 inches of snow, with up to 20 inches at elevations over 6,500 feet such as Palomar Mountain. Bring tire chains if traveling in the mountain areas. Chains were required today on parts of State Route 79 and Old Highway 80, while a portion of Sunrise Highway was closed.


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KING TIDES, RIP CURRENTS AND WINDY WEATHER FORECAST FOR REGION

East County News Service
 
December 11, 2020 (San Diego) – Santa Ana winds could return this weekend and early next week, bringing elevated fire conditions but likely only moderate wind gusts up to 30 miles per hour in mountain areas, the National Weather Service forecasts.
 
But along the coastal areas, flooding is possible in low-lying areas during high tides, with dangerous swimming conditions and high risk of rip currents. Dramatic king tides with waves up to nearly seven feet are forecast Sunday through Tuesday.

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RED FLAG WARNING THURSDAY NIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY MORNING: HIGH FIRE DANGER

East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts

November 25, 2020 (San Diego's East County)-- The National Weather Service in San Diego has issued a Red Flag Warning, which is in effect from Thursday, Nov. 26 at 8 p.m. through Saturday, Nov. 28 at 9 a.m. for the inland valleys and mountains of San Diego County. The Red Flag Warning has been issued due to strong gusty winds and low humidity.

Areas are forecast to have winds from 25 mph with gusts up to 60 mph. Higher gusts are possible in the windiest locations.

Any fires that develop may spread rapidly with extreme fire behavior, threatening life and property. Be prepared to evacuate if needed. Be sure your cell phone is registered with AlertSanDiego, the county’s regional notification system to receive alerts directly to your mobile device.


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DRY WEATHER, FIRE DANGER RETURNS LATE THIS WEEK

By Miriam Raftery

November 22, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Dry weather is forecast this week, with fire weather conditions over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Temperatures will be at or slightly below normal with patchy dense fog tonight and gusty westerly winds Monday across mountain passes and in the deserts.  By late Thursday, moderate Santa Ana winds could bring gusts up to 50 miles per hour.


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FIRST SNOWFALL OF SEASON BLANKETS MOUNTAIN AREAS, FREEZE FORECAST FOR HIGH DESERTS TONIGHT

East County News Service

Photo: Snow on Mount Laguna, by Dave Hogan

November 9, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Snow fell overnight on mountaintops in San Diego's inland region including Mount Laguna in East County, with more snow showers possible at higher elevations tonight.  On Mount Palomar, a new record low temperature of 25 degrees was recorded early this morning.

In the high desert areas such as Campo, below freezing temperatures as low as 29 degrees are forecast tonight.

Frost and freeze conditions could kill crops and sensitive vegetation, also potentially damaging unprotected plumbing, the National Weather Service warns.


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FIRST COLD RAINS ON THE WAY, FREE SANDBAGS FOR UNINCORPORATED RESIDENTS

November 6, 2020 (San Diego's East County) - San Diego County is expected to see its first widespread rains in months this weekend and the County of San Diego and CAL FIRE have free sandbags to help residents in unincorporated communities protect their homes and properties.

The National Weather Service is forecasting rain and winds around San Diego County this weekend, meaning this could be a good time to pick up some free sand and bags.


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LIGHT RAIN POSSIBLE NEXT TWO DAYS, BUT HIGH WINDS AND FIRE DANGER BY TUESDAY

 
By Miriam Raftery
 
October 24, 2020 (San Diego) –  Measurable rainfall is possible Sunday and Monday, with drizzles Saturday night.  Up to a half inch could fall in mountain areas, though most areas of the county would receive only minimal precipitation in the range of 0.02 to 0.15 inches.
 
Tuesday is expected to be much drier with very low humidity and high fire danger. Moderate Santa Ana Winds are forecast to develop starting Monday, continuing Tuesday with north to northeast winds of 10-20 miles per hour and gusts up to 40 mph, blowing dust in desert areas.

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FIRE CONDITIONS REMAIN HIGH THROUGH THIS WEEKEND

East County News Service
 
October 1, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – A heat wave is forecast to continue through Friday, with temperatures 10 to 20 degrees above normal. The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning through 8 p..m Friday
 
High pressure will weaken this weekend, resulting in some slight cooling, but temperatures will remain 5 to 10 degrees above normal. Low clouds during the nights and mornings will return this weekend. 
 
Elevated to near-critical fire weather conditions will persist through the weekend, primarily due to the hot and dry weather and critically dry fuels. Inland humidity will gradually begin to increase this weekend into early next week. 

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RED FLAG WARNNG: HIGH FIRE DANGER TODAY

 

Source: San Diego County Office of Emergency Services

September 28, 2020 (San Diego's East County) -- The National Weather Service in San Diego has issued a Red Flag Warning, which is in effect from 5:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Monday, 9/28 for the inland valleys and mountains of San Diego County. The Red Flag Warning has been issued due to strong gusty winds and low humidity.

Areas will see winds from 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 40 mph. Higher gusts are possible in the windiest locations. More forecast information and updates are available from the National Weather Service.

Any fires that develop may spread rapidly with extreme fire behavior, threatening life and property. Be prepared to evacuate if needed, the County warns in an alert to all area residents.


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SDG&E NOTIFIES APPROXIMATELY 700 BACKCOUNTRY RESIDENTS TO PREPARE FOR POTENTIAL PUBLIC SAFETY POWER SHUTOFFS DUE TO SANTA ANA WINDS AND FIRE WEATHER WATCH

September 27, 2020 (San Diego) – Due to elevated fire weather conditions and forecasted Santa Ana winds, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has notified certain backcountry residents that it may have to turn off power in order to reduce wildfire risk in the coming days. Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) are approved by state regulators as an important safety tool to mitigate fire risk during dangerous weather conditions.

The National Weather Service has issued a Fire Weather Watch for Monday for inland San Diego County mountains and foothills. Weak to moderate strength Santa Ana winds are expected to arrive today, peak Monday morning in strength and become weak to moderate by the end of the day. In preparation, SDG&E has activated its Emergency Operations Center to monitor conditions 24/7 and has organized personnel and pre-staged materials and equipment for response.


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EXTREME HEAT AND FIRE RISK FORECAST FOR LABOR DAY WEEKEND

By Miriam Raftery
 
September 2, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Scorching heat is forecast starting Friday and building through the Labor Day weekend.This brings “near critical fire weather risk,” with high temperatures and dry air, according to the National Weather Service. Friday through Monday will likely be the hottest days of the year, forecasters predict.

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WILD WEATHER CONTINUES: THUNDERSTORMS, FLASH FLOODS AND HIGH HEAT

By Miriam Raftery

August 22, 2020 (San Diego’s East County)  -- The monsoon season is here – with mountain thunderstorms expected each afternoon through Monday with brief heavy rain, small hail, lightning and strong erratic winds.  There is also a potential for flash flooding today and tomorrow across our inland region, as this map shows.

While thousands of lightning strikes across northern and central California have caused major wildfires,  Southern California has also had numerous lightning strikes, as the Earth Network image sent by the National Weather Service shows for Friday, Aug. 21:


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FLASH FLOOD WARNING: DANGEROUS THUNDERSTORMS THIS AFTERNOON

August 21, 2020 (San Diego's East County) -- The National Weather Service has detected dangerous thunderstorms across portions of East County. A flash flood warning is in effect now through late this afternoon for areas in and around Pine Valley, Boulevard, Mount Laguna and Cuyamaca.

Move to high ground immediately if you are in these areas.


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HEAT WAVE SMASHES RECORDS

By Miriam Raftery
 
August 20, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Triple digit temperatures are forecast yet again tomorrow across portions of San Diego’s inland region.  This week’s scorching heat wave has shattered some all-time records. On August 17, a temperature of 106 degrees Fahrenheit in Campo broke the old record of 103 set in 2001.  

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THUNDERSTORMS POSE RISK OF LIGHTNING FIRES AS DANGEROUS HEAT WAVE CONTINUES THIS WEEK

By Miriam Raftery

August 17, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Over 1,600 lightning strikes have sparked at least 76 fires in northern California in the past 24 hours.  Now thunderstorms are forecast for our region this week, amid a scorching heat wave described as “dangerous” by the National Weather Service. “Record breaking” temperatures may occur, as well as gusty winds, rain, and dangerous lightning Tuesday and Wednesday.


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COOL ZONES OPEN ACROSS EAST COUNTY DUE TO HIGH HEAT

East County News Service

August 17, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Cool zones adapted to COVID-19 public health protections have been opened at eight county libraries across San Diego’s inland region during the current extreme heat conditions.  The locations are open from 12 noon to 5 p.m.Mondays through Friday (except the Borrego Springs location, which is also open weekends). 

Masks and social distancing are required by all visitors and staff.  Temperature checks are also required before entering a cool zone and time limits may be imposed due to limited capacity. No animals are permitted, except for service animals. Below is the full list of county cool zones:


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EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING

East County News Service

August 14, 2020 (San Diego's East County) -- The National Weather Service has issued an extreme heat warning in effect this weekend through Monday at 8 p.m. Dangerously hot conditions with temperatures from 98 to 106 degrees Fahrenheit are forecast across San Diego County’s mountains, valleys and desert areas as well as much of Riverside and San Bernadino counties.

Extreme heat will significantly increase the potential for heat related illnesses, particularly for those  working or participating in outdoor activities.

Follow these precautions:


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ROLLING BLACKOUTS ACROSS COUNTY: BE PREPARED

 

East County News Service

August 14, 2020 (San Diego) -- The California Independent System Operator (ISO), which oversees the statewide electric grid, has directed SDG&E to initiate rotating, one-hour service interruptions (rotating outages) throughout its service territory in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The blackouts are underway and are currently affecting thousands of residences.  View a list of current outages and estimated restoration times at  https://www.sdge.com/residential/customer-service/outage-center/outage-map.

While the rotating outages will be widespread in the region, communities located in high fire threat districts, which experience public safety power shutoffs, will be exempt from the service interruptions, SDG&E announced today.



The local outages are the result of excessive heat driving up electricity use and putting strain on the grid. CASIO has declared a “Stage 3” power emergency because contingency reserves have fallen or are anticipated to fall below requirements and cannot be restored without service interruptions.


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EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING ISSUED FOR DESERTS

East County News Service

 

July 9, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – The National Weather Service has issued an extreme heat warning Saturday through Monday for San Diego County’s deserts, where temperatures of 115 to 120 degrees are expected.

 


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FOURTH OF JULY WEEKEND FORECAST: FIRE WEATHER AND RIP CURRENTS

By Miriam Raftery

June 30, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – The weather will be warming up over the Fourth of July weekend. But before you head to the beach, be aware that elevated surf is forecast to generate strong rip currents that will be hazardous to swimmers this weekend and next week.

On Sunday and Monday,  breezy winds, warmer conditions and low relative humidity will create elevated fire weather conditions, says meteorologist Casey Oswant with the National Weather Service. The conditions are “favorable for fast-moving grass fires,” Oswant cautions.


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