by Photo courtesy of National Weather Service

Record rainfall was reported Friday in parts of San Diego County by the National Weather Service as a powerful winter storm bears down on the region bringing freezing temperatures, heavy rain and snow and gusty conditions.

At Palomar Mountain, 2.5 inches of rain was reported breaking the record for the day of 2.05 inches set in 2015. Record low temperatures were also reported for the day by the National Weather Service.

It was 54 in El Cajon on Thursday, tying the record for the lowest maximum temperature set in 2022. It was 53 in Vista, breaking the record of 54 set in 2022. It was 47 in Alpine, tying the record set in 1962. It was 28 in Palomar Mountain, tying the record set in 2022. It was 33 in Lake Cuyamaca, tying the record set in 1951. It was 43 in Campo, breaking the record of 46 set in 1969.

The frigid winter storm will continue to deliver widespread rain, mountain snow and whipping winds to the San Diego area Friday, with similarly cold and wet conditions expected to continue into the weekend.

Utility provider San Diego Gas & Electric has increased the number of field crews and equipment available to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.

The company's meteorology team is also "monitoring weather conditions minute-by-minute to help provide situational awareness to crews working hard to maintain the infrastructure that serves our communities. However, preparedness is a community effort, and the company encourages all of its customers to have a plan in place in case of unplanned outages," according to an SDG&E statement.

As of 8 a.m. Thursday, the unsettled atmospheric system had dropped nearly an inch of rainfall in some areas and more than a foot of snow in others, the National Weather Service reported.

The top two-day rain totals, according to the NWS, included 0.97 of an inch in Alpine; 0.85 in Campo and Pine Valley; 0.83 at Lake Wohlford; 0.82 in the Palomar area; 0.79 in Julian and 0.77 at Henshaw Dam.

Over the period, the bands of dark clouds out of the north dropped 13 inches of snow on Mount Laguna; eight to 10 inches on Palomar Mountain; and about 4 inches in Julian and Warner Springs.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, when the heavy winds were at their height, the county experienced gusts up to 84 mph in the mountains, 67 mph in the inland valleys, 60 mph in the desert and 56 mph along the coast.

The rain and mountain snow will become heavier and more widespread Friday and Saturday, according to the weather service, which has issued a winter-storm warning for the East County highlands through Saturday afternoon. Traveling in those areas over the period "could be very difficult to impossible," the federal agency warned.

The precipitation will taper off late Saturday and Sunday, with more local rain possible next week, forecasters advised.

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