Bundle up San Diego: Cold, blustery conditions ahead

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SAN DIEGO -- A very cold storm front from southwestern Canada, expected to generate single-digit temperatures, rain, gusty winds and mountain snow, was headed for San Diego County Monday.

The National Weather Service issued a 24-hour winter storm warning for mountains, valleys and deserts higher than 2,000 feet starting at 4 p.m. Tuesday. The snow level is expected to drop to around 3,500 feet Tuesday afternoon and to about 2,000 feet that night. Up to a foot of snow could accumulate in some mountain areas, according to the NWS.

The warning includes Boulevard, Campo, Cuyamaca, Descanso, Julian, Lake Henshaw, Morena Village, Mount Laguna, Oak Grove, Pine Valley, Santa Ysabel and Warner Springs. Snow is also possible around Alpine, which has an elevation of 1,834 feet.

Rain is likely Tuesday evening along the coast and in some valley areas, forecasters said.

“A very cold storm originating from Canada will move across Southern California late Tuesday through Wednesday,'' according to the weather service. “Snow levels will fall rapidly Tuesday evening and into the overnight hours, reaching around 2,000 feet and may be locally lower.''

Forecasters said snow and ice from the storm would cause “major travel problems'' on mountain roadways and in higher desert areas. Travel on Interstate 8 at Sunrise Summit could also be affected, because blowing snow may reduce visibility to less than half a mile, and some county highways could be closed, according to the NWS.

“Significant amounts of snow are forecast that will make travel dangerous,'' according to the weather service. “Only travel in an emergency.''

Single-digit temperatures are expected in the mountains, but wind chill values may fall below zero at times, forecasters said. Temperatures in the deserts could bottom out in the teens.

Sustained northwest winds of 20 to 30 miles per hour and gusts in excess of 50 mph are also expected.

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