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Rainfall Totals From San Diego's Monday Storm

NBC San Diego logo NBC San Diego 10/26/2021 Christina Bravo
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The storm system that dumped huge amounts of rain on Northern California on Sunday made its way south Monday, albeit much weaker. Here's how hard it hit San Diego.

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Rainfall Totals

So, how much rain did San Diego County see?

The heaviest rainfall was in the mountains, hitting Palomar Mountain particularly hard, but valleys also received significant rainfall, according to the final rainfall totals reported by the National Weather Service.

Along the coast, El Camino Del Norte led coastal areas with .46 inches of rain and several communities checked in above a quarter-inch.

  • El Camino Del Norte: .46 inches
  • Fashion Valley: .40 inches
  • Carlsbad Airport: .31inches
  • Encinitas: .34 inches
  • Oceanside: .27 inches
  • Point Loma: .27 inches
  • Brown Field .27 inches
  • National City: .24 inches
  • University Heights: .23 inches
  • Del Mar: .19 inches
  • Vista:.16 inches
  • San Ysidro: .16 inches

Otay Mountian RAWS saw the most rain out of the valley communities with .67 inches, but few other places totaled more than a half-inch.

  • Rainbow Camp: .59 inches
  • Lower Otay Flats: .53 inches
  • Mt. Woodson: .54 inches
  • Skyline Ranch: .46 inches
  • Harbison Canyon: .43 inches
  • Alpine: .36 inches
  • La Mesa: .35 inches
  • Escondido: .34 inches
  • Fallbrook: .30 inches
  • Santee: .30 inches
  • El Cajon:.26 inches
  • Ramona: .23 inches
  • Poway: .17 inches

And in the mountains, Palomar Mountain cleared an inch.

  • Palomar CRS: 1.04 inches
  • Palomar Mountain RAWS: 1.03 inches
  • Lake Cuyamaca: .98 inches
  • Lake Cuyamaca Mesonet: .75 inches
  • Julian: .77 inches
  • Palomar Observatory: .68 inches
  • Mesa Grande: .67 inches
  • Mount Laguna: .46 inches
  • Henshaw Dam: .46 inches

No snow or lightning strikes were reported.

About the Storm

Some light rain touched down in the early afternoon, but the bulk of the storm system reached the top of San Diego County at around 4 p.m. after a long journey from Northern California where it dumped record-setting rain.

"This will mostly be an afternoon issue across the county — afternoon and evening," NBC 7 Meteorologist Sheena Parveen said.

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The storm moved southeast across the county and by 5 p.m. much of the county was be wet. Heavy rains were reported from Mira Mesa to Mid-City during the evening commute.

The rain tapered off by around 6:30 p.m., and by 7:15 p.m. the storm system was straddling the U.S.-Mexico border and dumping rain in Tijuana, Mexico, and the southeastern corner of San Diego County.

What is an Atmospheric River?

This storm system is caused by an atmospheric river, an invisible "river" of water vapor in the Earth's atmosphere that can move up to 25 times more water in a day than the Mississippi River.

But the atmospheric river will affect San Diego County differently than it did Northern California because of the region's proximity to the "stream" coming from the tropics. Here's NBC 7/Telemundo 20 Meteorologist Ana Cristina to explain:

Advisories, Warnings and Preparedness

The coast is under a high surf advisory, with waves expected to range from 6-8 feet. Some sets in south San Diego County could reach 10 feet, Parveen said. The advisory is in effect from 11 a.m. Monday to 3 p.m. Wednesday.

The Ocean Beach Pier was closed Monday afternoon ahead of the high surf.

In the mountains and deserts, winds could reach 55 mph, prompting a wind advisory from 10 a.m. Monday to 2 p.m. Tuesday.

The city of San Diego is urging residents to be prepared for the storm before it rains. Check storm drains and report any problems, download the Alert San Diego app and retrieve sandbags if needed.

The city is offering 10 bags per household or business, but sand is not provided.

Once the rain arrives, residents should report flooding to the city's emergency dispatch center at 619-527-7500 or to the county. Never drive through flooded roadways. Get more preparedness tips here.

This Week's Weather

The storm system wasn't expected to linger for more than a day in San Diego County. There could be a few light showers Tuesday morning, and then the region will dry up.

Cooler temperatures will last a few more days before a warm-up on Thursday when temperatures will soar into the low 80s along the coast and close to 90 inland, Parveen said.

By Friday, temperatures will cool again.

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