Skies clearing; high surf warning later in week

Relief was in store for a storm-drenched San Diego County today with only a slight chance of morning showers and light winds in the forecast, according to the National Weather Service.

A powerful autumn storm dropped much-needed rain on the region Monday and generated snow flurries in the mountains, high winds and rainy-day commuter chaos.

The Weather Service said rainfall totals for Monday were 1.1 inches in Encinitas, 2.4 in Kearny Mesa, 1.56 at Lindbergh Field, 2.05 in Valley Center, 2.07 in Ramona, 2.48 in Santee, 3.31 in Julian, 4.89 at Lake Cuyamaca and 1.22 in Borrego Springs.

There was a 20 percent chance of showers in the morning in coastal and valley areas and a 30 percent chance in the mountains. A high wind warning will remain in effect in the mountains and deserts until 6 a.m., according to the Weather Service.

Wind gusts up to 45 miles per hour were likely in the mountains this morning but should drop to 30 miles per hour this afternoon, the Weather Service reported. The desert forecast called for wind gusts of up to 35 mph this morning, dropping to 30 miles per hour this afternoon.

Snow in the mountains was possible at 4,000 feet but little to no accumulation was likely, according to the Weather Service.

Monday's storm had predictable impacts on local traffic. Between midnight and 10 p.m., the California Highway Patrol logged 476 accidents in the San Diego area, as compared with the 50 to 75 collisions the agency typically responds to during an entire day of dry weather.

The stiff winds and downpours also flooded roadways, downed trees and contributed to power outages, leaving tens of thousands of homes and businesses without electricity for parts of Monday.

Due to potential pollution hazards from runoff, the county Department of Environmental Health issued a routine ocean-contamination warning, advising people to stay out of the surf for at least 72 hours following showers.

The Weather Service expects another storm to arrive Thursday or Friday. A high surf advisory along the coast is scheduled from 4 a.m. Wednesday to 4 p.m. Friday.

   
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