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News 8 Throwback: Crazy weather in San Diego history

San Diego isn't known for it's weather, but we dug through our archives and found some days that weren't "72-degrees and sunny".

SAN DIEGO — San Diego may not be known for its weather but over the past 50+ years, there have been a few that stand out as not the norm. Most people who live here and especially those that visit expect to have 72-degrees and sunny every day for 365 days a year. While the weather usually does cooperate, we’ve gathered some unique weather events for this week’s News 8 Throwback.

High tides batter San Diego's coast in 1998

On January 28, astronomical high tides and big waves batter the coast. Cardiff’s restaurant row was in the line of fire. Down the coast in La Jolla, the rebuilt surf shack faced its first real test, and at The Marine Room, customers were treated to a free show courtesy of Mother Nature. Sightseers got soaked in Ocean Beach. A man from the Midwest told CBS 8’s Steve Price that nothing ever happens here unless it’s an earthquake of something like this and it’s fun to watch as long as no one’s getting hurt.

Blizzard conditions on Mount Laguna in 1987

On February 25, 1987, CBS 8 trekked up to the mountains and as is always the case, the higher up, the more snow there is. Chris Saunders chatted with El Cajon High School students who decided on outdoor education that day. “It’s a field trip, it’s for a science project.” Of course. When they reached their destination—Mount Laguna-- a full-fledged blizzard was going on according to Chris. That didn’t stop people from sledding down the slopes. We hope the students will see this happy memory of their ”field trip.”

Stormy weather in Mission Beach in 1983

On March 2, 1983, a storm off the coast sent the waves crashing on to the boardwalk along Mission Beach. The Hamels were trying to get more sandbags. Mission Beach residents banded together like they always do in inclement weather. The winter of 1983 was one San Diegans will remember for a long time. Dave Cohen reports. 

Wicked winds tear through San Diego's North County in 1980

On February 21, 1980, Paula Zahn reports on heavy winds in Rancho Santa Fe. On March 3, 1980, Liz Pursell reports on the winds leaving a trail of destruction in Encinitas. In late February and early March, heavy rains caused major flooding all over the county and possible tornadic activity uprooted trees and damaged homes in Rancho Santa Fe, Encinitas and Olivenhain. Although CBS 8’s Paula Zahn called it a tornado and a resident said it sounded like a freight train, weather.gov has no records of it. Whatever it was it left a major mess behind. Zahn reported that the normally dry San Dieguito riverbed swelled to nearly 8-10 feet of water and washed out a bridge. A wicked windstorm ripped the roof off a barn in Olivenhain on March 2nd.  One resident told Liz Pursell that it might have been a tornado.     

San Diego's Mission Valley suffers severe flooding in 1980

On February 21, 1980, a winter storm brought flooding to Mission Valley and other areas of San Diego. In this throwback video, News 8 reported the San Diego River rose seven feet over a four-hour period causing businesses to shut down and hotels to evacuate guests.

Major flooding in San Diego February 1980

On February 19, Paula Zahn covered flooding and high surf in the coastal areas. Close to one-hundred people gathered in Ocean Beach to watch surfers brave the 4-8 feet waves. High winds caused damage in the San Diego Harbor. The roof collapsed at the old San Diego Rowing Club. She said one member of the club said it could have been the kiss of death for the old, abandoned building. In 1983 the Chart House Restaurant group acquired the property and invested 1.7 million in renovations and kept the spirit of the original boathouse alive. History of the San Diego Rowing Club can be found here.

On February 21, CBS 8’s Doug McAllister said, “the flooding at Del Mar near the racetrack was by far the worst in recent memory.” The San Dieguito River backed up and went over its banks. It was an incredible sight as horses and people made their way out of the flooded areas. One woman said she didn’t know where they were going to go or what they were going to do after being evacuated.

Snow in the city of San Diego?!?

One of the most unique weather events in San Diego history, this footage from 1967 shows some very unusual weather in San Diego. On December 13, 1967, a powerful storm made the temperatures dip low enough that snowflakes were seen all over San Diego County. Do you remember the snow in San Diego? It has not snowed since this date in the city of San Diego.

Laguna Mountains snow in 1966

The snow arrived a little late for Christmas but about an inch and a half fell just before the New Year. By the time TV 8 made it up there, it had started to melt. Our original script says, "The youngsters were able to hone in on a few shady spots where things weren't too soggy." The film was shot near the Laguna Mountain Lodge.

Stormy San Diego weather from November 6, 1966

High winds and rains caused damage across San Diego County. News 8's Marcella Lee tracked using original scripts from November 7, 1966. The film was shot on November 6, 1966.

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