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San Diego experiences rare August rain, flooding

Rain drops on a grape leaf
Rain drops on a grape leaf
Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

Southern California, including parts of San Diego, was treated to rare thunderstorms, again, over the last weekend. Some areas received so much rain that streets were flooded and mudslides were reported. Rain in August in the coastal areas is almost unheard of and the weather pattern last weekend was something most San Diegans weren’t used to.

August is usually the month when San Diego gets the least amount of rainfall. The average is about .02 inches at Lindbergh Field. This weekend’s rainfall varied from none to at least an inch in some areas. Mountain areas received more rain and there was flash flooding in several areas around San Diego and Riverside Counties.

Ramona and Borrego Springs were two areas in San Diego County that had flash flooding. It’s not unusual to see some flooding around the town when summer thunderstorms hit. Carrizo Creek in Borrego Springs frequently floods during storms that may hit several miles upstream. Any type of low lying area can experience flash flooding during a downpour.

Several years ago, Palm Canyon Drive in Borrego Springs was a river of water and mud when a strong summer thunderstorm passed through town. Several of the town’s businesses, including the library which was located in a low area at the time, were flooded. Flooding was also reported near those areas this year. Other areas that were flooded this year included normally dry washes in the Borrego Badlands and parts of Borrego Springs Road.

Yesterday, several of the roads in and out of Borrego Springs were blocked by flooded water and mudslides. Eastbound Montezuma Grade Road, a major road in and out of town, collapsed and slid down hill. Several roads in Riverside County, mostly around Coachella Valley, were also flooded. Today, there are still roads that are closed due to mudslides in the area.

Most of the rain has left the area and the humidity and temperatures should diminish as the week goes on. The monsoonal moisture may return later in the week, but mostly in the mountains and deserts. Temperatures are expected to be near normal for August. The chance of thunderstorms, especially in the mountains and deserts, continues on through September.