10News Pinpoint Weather Team says Pacific storm to bring rain, wind to San Diego County

Forecasters: Brunt of rain to fall Friday

SAN DIEGO - A significant shift in the weather is expected in San Diego County Thursday evening, as a Pacific storm arrives and brings much cooler temperatures, snow, rain and gusty winds to the region through Sunday, forecasters said.

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According to the 10News Pinpoint Weather Team, some showers could fall in a few areas Thursday night. But, the wettest day will be Friday, with the brunt of the rain in the afternoon and night hours into early Saturday morning.

The 10News Pinpoint Futurecast indicates the first impulse of rain will begin 1 a.m. Friday and continue until 7 a.m.

The 10News Pinpoint Weather Team said up to a quarter-inch of rain is expected along the San Diego coast and inland valleys, while up to a half-inch will fall closer to the mountains and less than a tenth of an inch of rain forecast for the desert.

Forecasters said the storm will also bring significantly colder air to the region, as well as lower elevation snow.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for snow and blowing snow in the mountains from 3 a.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday. According to the advisory, the snow level will lower to 5,000 to 6,000 feet with a slight chance of overnight showers. The snow level is expected to plummet during the day to around 3,500 feet and down to 2,500 feet heading into Saturday.

Three to seven inches of snow is expected to accumulate above 4,000 feet, while up to nine inches is possible above 6,000 feet and up to two inches is possible near 3,000 feet.

Sustained west winds of 15 to 30 mph, gusting up to 50 mph, are also expected in the mountains and in the deserts.

A wind advisory is scheduled for the mountains and deserts from 3 a.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday. On Thursday evening in the mountain and desert areas, winds will kick up across the county ahead of the cold storm coming down the coast from the north.

The strongest gusts in the San Diego mountains and deserts will be between 35 to 55 mph. Otherwise, sustained winds will be 15 to 30 mph.  Driving will be difficult at times through the mountains and desert with blowing sand in the desert.

Blowing snow is expected to cause visibility in the mountains to be down to a quarter-mile at times. Motorists in the mountains are encouraged to carry chains for the next several days.

Forecasters said cold conditions will continue in the mountains the next several nights, with freezing temperatures potentially causing areas of black ice or slippery roads.

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