The National Weather Service said the storm will dig south along the California coast today before moving inland across Southern California Thursday.
Coastal and valley areas should see between a half-inch and three- quarters of an inch of rain from the storm, while higher elevations are expected to be blanketed by several inches of snow.
“Although some light snow showers may linger over the mountains through early Friday morning, the majority of snow will occur (this evening) through Thursday evening, as the cold front moves through the area,” according to an NWS advisory.
A winter weather advisory is scheduled from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. Friday for mountain areas, including Cuyamaca, Julian and Mount Laguna. According to the Weather Service, the snow level should drop to 5,000 feet by early Thursday, then down to 4,000 feet by Thursday evening.
Two to six inches of snow accumulation is expected above 5,000 feet and a dusting of two inches is expected between 4,000 and 5,000 feet.
The mountains will also be subject to sustained west to southwest winds of 15 to 25 miles per hour, with gusts of up to 40 mph. Winds should decrease slightly by Thursday afternoon, according to a NWS advisory.
“Travelers through the mountains should be prepared for hazardous winter weather conditions,” forecasters said. “Motorists are urged to check the latest road reports before departing. Always carry chains and take extra food and clothing if you must travel into the mountains.”
Fairer weather is expected Friday, though some lingering light snow showers are possible in the mountains through Friday morning, according to the Weather Service. Then, “there is the potential for some additional light snow Friday night and Sunday due to some disturbances that may move through the area,” according to an NWS advisory.