San Diegans welcome spring as storm races toward Southern California

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- San Diegans welcomed spring Tuesday as a storm raced towards Southern California. 

It's expected to be a pleasant and warm day with a mix of sun and clouds for San Diego County, but this is merely the calm before the storm. 

The latest predictions from the National Weather Service show that the storm could dump anywhere between a quarter of an inch to as much as three inches of rain in parts of the county. 

RELATED: Mandatory evacuations issued for Santa Barbara County ahead of winter storm

As far as timing, the first storm of the spring should fall over San Diego Thursday afternoon into the overnight hours. 

The public can get free sand and bags, or free bags, at locations around San Diego County. They should call ahead to check availability and bring a shovel. For a list of locations, click here.

CONDITIONS: 10News Pinpoint Weather Forecast

Though rain will impact the county, the amounts predicted pale in comparison to the so-called "atmospheric river" expected to barrel through other parts of Southern California. 

The storm is expected to bring heavy rain to areas already scorched by recent wildfires.

PHOTOS: Spring arrives in San Diego County

Parts of Santa Barbara County are under mandatory evacuations for residents in the Thomas, Sherpa and Whittier burn areas.

The National Weather Service projected this storm will have the heaviest rainfall and the longest duration of this winter storm season. 

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