A winter storm moving in from the Northwest will bring significant snowfall to the San Diego County mountains this weekend and an 80 percent forecast of rain Friday night and Saturday, meteorologists said Friday.
The National Weather Service scheduled a winter storm watch for the mountains from late tonight to Sunday morning, saying the snow level would lower to near 2,500 feet by Saturday night.
A winter storm watch means there is the potential for significant snow, sleet or ice accumulation that may impact travel.
Two to five inches of snow accumulation was expected from 3,000 to 5,000 feet and up to a foot of snow was expected above 5,000 feet.
"Most of the snow will fall late Saturday morning and Saturday afternoon," an NWS advisory said.
- Friday: Areas of frost before 10am. Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 53. East wind 5 to 10 mph becoming southwest in the afternoon.
- Friday night: Showers, mainly after 4am. Low around 39. South wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.
- Saturday: Showers. The rain could be heavy at times. High near 50. West wind 5 to 10 mph increasing to 15 to 20 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.
- Saturday Night: A 50 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 38. West wind 15 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 35 mph.
- Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 50. Southwest wind around 5 mph.
- Sunday Night: Patchy frost after 10pm. Otherwise, mostly clear, with a low around 33.
The storm will also bring strong and gusty westerly winds to the mountains and deserts, according to the weather service. The agency forecast sustained westerly winds of 25 to 35 miles per hour and widespread gusts up to 55 mph, with local gusts in excess of 60 mph possible at times.
A high wind watch for the deserts was expected to take effect late tonight and continue into Sunday morning. Also Friday, a frost advisory was in effect until 9 a.m. for valley areas, where temperatures ranged from 28 to 36 degrees, according to the weather service.
The agency encouraged residents to bring pets indoors and to cover sensitive outdoor plants.
For mariners, a small craft advisory for rough sea conditions was scheduled from Saturday morning to late Saturday night.
"The combination of steep seas and strong winds will create rough and choppy sea conditions which will be hazardous for small craft," an NWS advisory said. "Starting Sunday morning, winds and seas will gradually diminish, resulting in continually improving boating conditions as the day goes on."-City News Service