Wintry storm drenches, chills San Diego - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Wintry storm drenches, chills San Diego

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Photo submitted by Lee Sie Photo submitted by Lee Sie
Courtesy of @cmonsayitsover via Twitter Courtesy of @cmonsayitsover via Twitter

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A cold Pacific storm provided a preview of wintertime in the San Diego area Friday, dousing the county with downpours, whipping up some stiff winds and coating eastern highland communities with snow.

The unsettled atmospheric system began dropping rain in the North County shortly after midnight, according to the National Weather Service.

Before the wet clouds move out of the region late tonight, local mountain locales above 4,500 feet are likely to be blanketed -- or at least dusted -- with frozen white flakes, forecasters said.

Over a 24-hour period ending at 5 p.m., the autumn storm dropped 1.6 inches of precipitation at Palomar Observatory, 1.17 at Cuyamaca Reservoir, 1.08 in Julian, 0.89 in Escondido, 0.84 at Lake Henshaw, 0.79 in Potrero, 0.71 in Descanso, 0.58 in Rancho Bernardo, 0.51 at Brown Field airport, 0.39 in Mission Valley, 0.35 in Campo, 0.32 in Carlsbad, 0.3 in Oceanside, 0.28 in San Ysidro and 0.12 in Encinitas.

The showers created some predictable rainy-day havoc on the region's commuter routes. Between midnight and 6 p.m., the California Highway Patrol logged 284 local accidents, as compared with the 50 to 75 that typically occur over a full day of fair weather.

The cloudbursts were expected dwindle in intensity tonight before petering out completely overnight. Saturday should be mostly clear in the San Diego area, but 8 to 15 degrees cooler than usual for this time of year, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Cynthia Palmer.

"It'll be on the chilly side," Palmer said.

Blustery, winter-like conditions are likely to return Sunday afternoon, bringing the chance for more rain.

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