Widespread rain and winds hit Southern California, with mountain snow on the way
By RYAN ZINKE
Posted: 02/08/2013 11:11:00 AM PST
Updated: 02/08/2013 03:46:57 PM PST
A huge storm and heavy rains hit Southern California, with the National Weather Service warning about 5 inches of rain was still falling in the southern half of the county.
Heavy rain also impacted the northern portions of San Diego County, where rain was already falling.
More rain fell in Santa Barbara County, with up to 3 inches.
The NWS issued a flash flood watch for southern and central San Bernardino County through 6 p.m. Tuesday, with potential for flooding Tuesday morning.
In northern San Diego County, heavy rain was expected Tuesday night as a cold front moves off the coast, said the weather service.
Forecasters said the heavy rain has put Southern California’s water systems into a state of emergency, with water agencies pumping into reservoirs to prevent outages.
A band of heavy rain is expected Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning, with up to 6 inches expected in the mountains, said meteorologist Bill Boynton.
He added that the snow on the peaks will likely melt Tuesday night, but is not likely to hit as the rain does.
The system will move inland Wednesday and bring “much more moisture” to Southern California, he said.
The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the mountains and hills Tuesday morning through 8 p.m.
A severe thunderstorm warning means storms with maximum winds of 39 mph or higher are possible. The storm warning for Santa Rosa could be upgraded to a low-end warning Tuesday night.
The NWS warned of flash flooding and issued a flash flood watch for most of San Bernardino County, up to Mount San Jacinto where rainfall was already falling.
The weather service also warned of a winter storm warning for portions of Kern County, where the NWS said 2 to 5 inches of snow was expected as of Tuesday night.
In San Diego County, a