San Diego/ Weather & Environment
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Published on March 01, 2024
San Diego Braces for Severe Weekend Weather with 90 MPH Winds, Rain, and SnowSource: Flickr / Bernt Rostad

Southern California residents should brace themselves for a turbulent weekend ahead as the National Weather Service in San Diego warns of a powerful storm. Winds are expected to escalate, reaching a peak on Saturday afternoon and evening with gusts hitting a monstrous 70 to 80 mph, and even isolated cases where winds could gust up to 90 mph. These severe conditions are forecasted predominantly along the desert slopes of the mountains, potentially causing disruptions.

The NWS San Diego office also alerted that precipitation is expected to quickly intensify from late today into Sunday, citing Saturday as the period with the highest probability for rainfall. According to the NWS Forecast Office San Diego, CA, "Through Sunday for Orange and southwestern San Bernardino Counties, rainfall is expected to range from around one-third inch near the coast to 1 to 2 inches in the mountains, with isolated amounts to around 3 inches on the coastal slopes." These rains could result in localized flooding and challenging driving conditions.

In terms of snowfall, a considerable drop in snow levels is projected. This will start with levels at around 6000 to 6500 feet on Saturday, then plummet to near 5000 feet by Sunday. Mountain areas higher than 6500 feet are advised to prepare for snow accumulations of 3 to 6 inches, while zones positioned between 6000-6500 feet can expect around 1 to 2 inches of snowfall.

Boaters and beachgoers are not left out, as the National Weather Service also forecasted choppy seas and winds gusting at 20 to 25 knots in marine areas from Friday night through Sunday. A statement obtained from the Area Forecast Discussion indicated an expected transition on Sunday night and Monday to northwest winds. Surfers might look to quickly capitalize on the conditions, with a northwest swell set to bring 4-7 foot waves predominantly at west-facing beaches in San Diego County starting Saturday night through Monday.

Looking into next week, conditions are projected to generally improve, with drying and a modest increase in temperatures for Monday and Tuesday. However, unsettled weather may make a return by mid-week, with the National Weather Service noting "larger model spread in the details" pertaining to the next precipitation event.