It wasn’t a drought buster. But we’ll take it.
An Alaskan storm hit San Diego County early Tuesday, dumping 6-7 inches of snow in the mountains and foothills and almost an inch of rain across some inland areas, providing a bit of relief from the drought that has been developing most of the winter.
The fast moving system also pelted Carlsbad, San Marcos, El Cajon, Escondido, Ramona and Camp Pendleton with pea-sized hail. And the entire region was unusually cold, with daytime highs only reaching the mid-50s in the warmest areas.
Vista only reached 55 on Tuesday, breaking the lowest maximum temperature for Feb. 27th by two degrees. The previous record was set in 1957. San Diego International Airport hit 58, which is seven degrees below average.
The storm blew ashore on the ninth straight day of cold weather in San Diego — which is unusually long for the region, even in late winter.
Tuesday felt a bit colder than the other days — at least to some — because the cold came with rain, snow and hail. By late morning, heavy snow fallen in Julian, Mount Laguna, and at Palomar Mountain, and more was expected on Tuesday night.
Moderate snow also fell in Alpine and Pine Valley, making driving treacherous for motorists who were zipping along eastern Interstate 8. Descanso also got three inches.
By late Tuesday afternoon, the National Weather Service was reporting that most of the county received between one-third and nearly one inch of an inch of rain. The impressive thing was that the county got any rain at all.
Since the rainy season began on October 1st, San Diego International Airport has recorded 1.91 inches of precipitation, which is about five inches below average. A new storm could reach the county on Thursday. But forecasters say it won’t have half the punch of Tuesday’s system.
“The rain we got was beneficial, but we need more,” said Mark Moede, a forecaster at the National Weather Service.
Sample of Tuesday’s rainfall, through 11 a.m.:
San Diego Country Estates, 0.86”; Barona, 0.84”; Alpine, 0.80”; Brown Field, 0.75”; Lakeside, 0.73”; Valley Center, 0.73”; Escondido, 0.71”; Ramona, 0.65”; Rancho Bernardo, 0.63”; Santee, 0.63”; El Cajon, 0.61”; La Mesa, 0.60”; Carlsbad, 0.59”; San Ysidro, 0.59”; Santee, 0.55”; Lake Murray, 0.75”; Chula Vista, 0.48”; Tijuana Estuary, 0.47”; Del Mar, 0.45”; San Onofre, 0.44”; Kearny Mesa, 0.44”; Encinitas, 0.43”; Fashion Valley, 0.42”; Bonsall, 0.40”; Oceanside, 0.36”; Montgomery FIeld, 0.36”; San Diego International Airport, 0.32”; Vista, 0.31”; San Diego Sea World, 0.30”.