From coast to mountains, San Diego will likely see coldest night of winter on Wednesday

San Diego County is likely to experience the coldest overall weather of the winter Wednesday night and early Thursday when frigid air left over from a Pacific storm drops temperatures into the 20s and 30s from the coast to the mountains and deserts.

The system, which dumped 14 inches of snow on Mount Laguna and more than an inch of rain in some valleys, was headed for Las Vegas late Wednesday morning.

The National Weather Service says it will have a freeze watch in place from midnight to 8 a.m. on Thursday.

“Frost and freeze conditions will kill crops, other sensitive vegetation and possibly damage unprotected outdoor plumbing,” the weather service said in an advisory.

“Thursday night is not expected to be as cold, but areas of frost are still expected in colder locations.”

Wednesday’s daytime highs also will be brisk. San Diego is expected to only reach 55, which is 11 degrees below average.

The core of the storm moved ashore Tuesday evening packing wild winds, slashing rain, a bit of thunder, lots of hail, and heavy snow.

The weather service says it expects a foot or more of snow on Palomar Mountain and Mount Laguna by the time the system darts off to Las Vegas on Wednesday afternoon. Snow had fallen all the way down to Julian, at the 4,100 foot level, and even lower in and around eastern Interstate 8.

The snow was blown sideways by winds that gusted 40 mph to 60 mph in some areas. The storm’s winds, and icing on power lines, caused lights to flicker on Tuesday night in the Birch Hill area of Palomar Mountain. Out to sea, on San Clemente Island, lightning arced through the night sky.

The rain didn’t come close to erasing the region’s drought deficit, but it was significant in some areas. Pine Valley got 1.84 inches, Lake Cuyamaca got 1.74 inches, and Campo got 1.45 inches.

At the coast, San Ysidro got 0.79 inches, National City got 0.62 inches. Along Interstate 8, Alpine got 0.85 inches.

San Diego International Airport got 0.48 inches, pushing its total since October 1 to 4.24 inches. That’s 2.40 inches below the seasonal normal.

Forecasters say skies will begin to clear by late Wednesday morning, and that it would be mostly sunny on Thursday, when temperatures will begin to rebound. San Diego will be 70 on Saturday.

Here is a sample of the projected low temperatures that will occur Wednesday night and early Thursday:

Coastal communities
Oceanside Airport: 26
Camp Pendleton: 34
Rainbow 35
Carlsbad: 36
Leucadia: 36

Solana Beach: 37
San Ysidro: 37
Chula Vista: 38
Del Mar: 39
San Diego International Airport: 39

National City: 39
Imperial Beach: 40
Encinitas: 41
La Jolla Shores: 44

Mount Laguna: 18
Palomar Mountain: 22
Lake Cuyamaca: 23
Julian: 24
Descanso: 25

Campo: 26
Barona: 32
El Cajon: 33
Ranchita: 33
San Pasqual Valley: 33

Miramar MCAS: 33
Santee: 34
Rancho Bernardo: 34
Alpine: 35
San Marcos: 35

San Diego Country Estates: 35
Pine Valley: 35
La Mesa: 36
Olivenhain: 36
Poway: 36

Fallbrook: 36
Kearny Mesa: 37
Source: NWS

Two day rainfall through 6 a.m. Wednesday

Pine Valley: 1.84 inches
Lake Cuyamaca: 1.74 inches
Descanso: 1.67 inches
Otay Mountain: 1.56 inches
Campo: 1.45 inches
Santa Ysabel: 1.42 inches
Cameron: 1.41 inches
Big Black Mountain: 1.39 inches
Henshaw Dam: 1.26 inches
Brown Field: 0.89 inches
Ramona: 0.80 inches
Rancho Bernardo: 0.66 inches
Barona: 0.64 inches
National City: 0.62 inches
Fallbrook: 0.61 inches
Poway: 0.58 inches
Laek Murray: 0.56 inches
Santee: 0.55 inches
San Diego International Airport: 0.48 inches
Valley Center: 0.48 inches
San Diego Country Estates: 0.47 inches
Escondido: 0.45 inches
Miramar Lake: 0.44 inches
Rainbow: 0.39 inches
Ranchita: 0.33 inches
Fashion Valley: 0.32 inches
Montgomery Field: 0.29 inches
Borrego Springs: 0.12 inches