A slow-moving weather system passed through Southern California Sunday, leaving a trail of tiny hailstones, funnel clouds and brief but violent rain squalls that dumped record rainfall in San Diego.
According to the National Weather Service, 1.13 inches of rain fell Sunday at Lindbergh Field, washing out the old April 6 record of .40 of an inch of rain in 1984.
Forecaster Harvey Hastrup said .49 of an inch of Sunday's rain fell in just one hour--between 3 and 4 a.m.
An upper-level, low-pressure area over the ocean just west of Vandenberg Air Force Base in Central California was blamed for the storm. Meteorologists said the disturbance would probably keep pushing cold and unstable air ashore until it moves eastward into the desert sometime tonight.
Meanwhile, it was impressive enough to cause the weather service to issue a severe thunderstorm watch for Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino and Kern counties and coastal waters Sunday afternoon.
Residents of Beaumont, about 25 miles east of Riverside, reported hailstones the size of medium-size buckshot at 3 p.m.
In Los Angeles, rain was blamed for a serial collision that blocked three northbound lanes of the San Diego Freeway near Brownfield Drive north of Sunset Boulevard, in the Sepulveda Pass area.
The California Highway Patrol said one car went out of control on the rain-slick roadway, crashed into the center divider and then collided with two other cars.
The accident grew as car after car found it impossible to stop and soon 16 cars were involved. Three people were released after hospital treatment of minor injuries.
The freeway was tied up for more than two hours.
By 4 p.m. Sunday San Luis Obispo had received 2.35 inches of rain.
During the same period, Coronado received 1.40; Mt. Wilson, 1.27; Point Loma, 1.23; San Diego, 1.14, and El Toro, .95.