Badly needed storm to drench San Diego into Thursday evening

San Diego County got a rare and thorough soaking Thursday from a warm Pacific storm that arrived before dawn and slickened the region’s freeways for much of the day.

The system was strong enough to cause SeaWorld to remain closed for the day, and to cancel the second shift at General Dynamics-NASSCO, the San Diego shipbuilder.

The National Weather Service was expecting the rain to last until late Thursday night, and possibly into Friday morning. That would be followed by a period of clearing. But more showers are possible on Saturday.

Through 4 p.m. on Thursday, the region has recorded some impressive rainfall totals. Here is a sample: Palomar Observatory, 3.06"; Lake Cuyamaca, 2.74"; Mt. Woodson, 1.53"; Alpine, 1.27"; La Mesa, 1.15"; Alpine, 1.02"; Fallbrook, 1.01"; San Ysidro, 0.91: Ramona, 0.89"; Chula Vista, 0.88"; Encinitas, 0.86"; Brown Field, 0.78"; Montgomery Field, 0.77"; El Cajon, 0.63"; San Diego International Airport, 0.53"; Oceanside, 0.43".

Forecasters were keeping their eye out late Thursday for thunderstorms, which can produce downpours.

The weather service said the the snow level could drop to 6,000 feet, which would provide a dusting of snow to the San Diego County mountains by Friday morning. The snow will be heavier above 7,000 feet. Up to a foot of snow could fall in the San Bernardino Mountains, and isolated spots could reach 20 inches, the weather service said.


4:55 p.m.: This story was updated with rainfall totals through 4 p.m. It was originally published at 3:05 p.m.

Copyright © 2019, The San Diego Union-Tribune, LLC. All rights reserved.