The San Diego Rain You Don’t Know About

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We get winter too, just not as extreme as some other places, but some parts of my city can be very dangerous.

My little spec on the map we call San Diego is known for it’s great climate, but many have never seen our winters here. No we don’t get all the snow like my Canadian friends or my many Ohio and Jersey friends.

But San Diego is unbelievably dangerous when foul weather hits. As anyone who has ever been here can attest, we have the most diverse landscape you can imagine.

Little old San Diego has beautiful but dangerous beaches, several mountain ranges and even desert, many canyons and gorges, and even rolling landscape in the area we call north county.

Our mountains get blanketed with snow as pretty as anywhere else, but the problem is that none of the city was designed for the winter. Once you get to the east county mountains, cars literally slide off the road in snow and ice conditions. Anyone who has visited Pine Valley knows of the famous Pine Valley Bridge. The bridge is over a mile long and several hundred feet in the air. It has been told that the contractors who built the bridge stated that all of the concrete used in that bridge could make a sidewalk all the way from downtown San Diego to downtown Yuma, Arizona. That is easily 200 miles each way.


Image by shmooth via Flickr

After you get past that, you drop straight down to the desert floor, with winds strong enough to blow an RV right off the road, and the grade is full of runaway truck ramps. I will admit, like many from my generation, I was a speed demon, and I couldn’t count the times I coasted well in excess of 100MPH heading to my beloved desert.

As I’ve told you before, much of San Diego is over an underground body of water, and the slightest rain causes the San Diego River to becoming fairly mellow to a raging beast of white water. When The San Diego Mission was built in 1769, they were probably the smartest engineers of all. They built Padre Dam because the grounds would get flooded during the slightest rain.

In Mission Valley, half of the area gets flooded and many try do drive through it, only to get stuck in the flooded areas or even caught in the flow sometimes, and every year we hear of rescues and drowning. The entire city of Santee gets submersed in water, as well as Lakeside.

Down to the south, the Tijuana river valley floods and kills animals and people every single year without fail. The Fashion Valley and My El Cajon are also halfway under water.

In January 1993, there was so much rain and water that there was nowhere in all of Lakeside where there wasn’t at least two inches of standing water. We have a little lake out there that has a gazebo about 12 feet high, and it was underwater at least halfway.

I remember one time in 1978, February it rained non-stop for 8straight days, day and night, and it was completely underwater.

As anyone in Nevada or Arizona knows, when the rain comes in the desert, it comes fast and it floods, and you better not be driving on sand because you will get stranded for hours.

Another interesting thing, we are not the city by the bay, San Francisco has that title, but we are the city with two bays, The San Diego Bay and Mission Bay. Mission Bay is nothing to brag about, it is in some parts stagnant and full of disease.

When the rain comes, it overflows into the Pacific Ocean, and pollutes it to unhealthy levels for days.


Image via Wikipedia

Many surfers live here and go in the water despite the warnings, and some develop serious bacterial infections. It is always recommended to stay out of the water but not against the law.

Many of you have probably heard of La Jolla, made famous by the Beach Boys, or the famous La Jolla cove. A remarkable thing of nature and rock formations.

That is one place the rain does incredible justice to. It has amazing and extremely unpredictable wave patterns, and many surfers and divers have been killed there during rainstorms. It has the strongest current of any of our beaches but the water can be deadly and sharks are occasionally seen there.

However, the hike down to the rocks can be one of the most exhilarating experiences of your life if you don’t slip on the rocks. Another dangerous thing about it is nighttime when the shore rolls in, you can literally get stuck between rocks and have to swim to get out.

The only other place like that is a place we call Diamondhead in northern PB or Pacific Beach as you may know it. It has what we call shore break. The waves curl over you and break almost all the way to the beach and the under current is unbelievably strong for such small waves.

This is no winter wonderland but our mountains surely can be. If you want to visit this time of year, bring snow chains, and please drive carefully. I know many of you live in places with fantastic nature, but The Cuyamaca Mountains are a place where you can practically feel God Himself touching your shoulders.

Please, anyone who comes here, brave the rain and go see my San Diego River at Padre Dam, It is a sight to see. It starts in the Cuyamaca range and eventually ends at the Pacific Ocean. So far, the only Trionders I know who have been here are Joni, Christy and Pam, so pay us a visit, and as usual, you can have a free pass on the Bo Jack train. God Bless and be well, Bo.

Remember to take a ride on THE BO JACK EXPRESS


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