SAN DIEGO -- A Pacific storm is expected to hit San Diego County Thursday with rain and potentially damaging winds.
A National Weather Service high wind watch for the mountains and deserts will take effect this evening and extend through Friday evening. West to southwest winds of 20 to 40 miles per hour will be possible, along with gusts to 75 mph on mountain ridgetops and of 60 mph in isolated locales in the deserts.
"Winds will strengthen [Thursday] evening and become potentially damaging [Thursday night] through Friday," according to the NWS.
Rain is also expected throughout the region. Predicted rainfall amounts include .15 of an inch in Borrego Springs; .65 in San Diego; .66 in Oceanside; .71 in the Miramar area; .86 in Escondido; .99 in Ramona; 1.01 inches in Alpine; 1.29 on Mt. Laguna; 2.07 in Julian; and 3.05 on Palomar Mountain, according to the weather service.
"The main players in this storm will be significant rain everywhere and locally heavy rain in the mountains," according to the weather service. "Strong winds will also be a factor especially in the mountains, deserts and coastal waters."
Forecasters said gusty winds in the deserts and along the deserts slopes of the mountains may produce areas of blowing dust and strong cross winds that could make travel difficult along portions of Interstate 8.
"Strong winds can make driving difficult, especially for drivers of high-profile vehicles and vehicles towing trailers," according to the weather service. "Winds this strong may down trees and power lines and cause property damage."
Rain may also wreak havoc on area roadways and slick conditions are expected during the morning commute Friday.
Temperatures are not expected to drop to where significant snowfall is possible, according to the NWS.
"Snow will not be a big factor, unless you happen to be hanging out above 8,000 feet," according to the weather service.
The storm is expected to move out of the area Friday night and cooler, drier weather will follow.