Rain soaks region; snow closes schools in Julian, Mountain Empire

Friday, March 8—

A cold winter storm saturated the region today, bringing rain to Ramona and heavy snow and gusty winds to the mountains.

A winter storm warning for higher mountain areas was in effect until 10 p.m. The snow level will fall to around 3,000 feet by this afternoon, and snowfall rates of two inches or more per hour are possible through tonight, according to the National Weather Service.

Because of the heavy snow, all schools in the Julian and Mountain Empire

school districts were closed today.

The snow showers will gradually taper off late tonight, an NWS advisory said.

Four to 12 inches of snow accumulation is expected between 4,000 and 5,500 feet, while 12 to 22 inches of snow accumulation is expected above 5,500 feet.

The agency cautioned motorists along the eastern stretch of Interstate 8 to be extra careful, saying travel will be hazardous due to slippery roadways and poor visibility in heavy snow, blowing snow and fog.

In addition to snow in the mountains, the storm is expected to drop up to an inch of rain in valley areas. The weather service said moderate to heavy rain is likely until 11 a.m., and thunderstorms with hail are possibly mainly between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The weather service scheduled a wind advisory for the deserts from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., saying there will be sustained 20 to 30 mph winds gusting up to 50 mph today.

Driving will be difficult, especially for motorists with high profile vehicles, an NWS advisory said.

   
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