Spring storm to bring rain Thursday

SAN DIEGO -- A Pacific storm expected to bring heavy rain and potential flooding to much of Southern California this week will deliver a considerably less dramatic dose of precipitation in the San Diego area, according to the National Weather Service.

Parts of Central California and the northern portion of Southern California were expected to get hit with several inches of rain beginning Wednesday, but further south, the rain was expected to arrive later and pack less of a punch, the NWS said. Even so, meteorologists said the potential for flash flooding could reach down to the northern portion of Riverside County from Wednesday evening into Thursday night.

The early-springtime rains likely won't kick in locally until early Thursday and are forecast to continue until about midday Friday, according to the NWS.

Over that period, the wet clouds should drop between a half-inch to one inch of moisture in coastal communities and 1.5 to 2 inches in the foothills and mountains, forecaster Noel Isla said. Local deserts are in line for little to no precipitation, according to meteorologists.

The heaviest showers in San Diego County are expected from late morning through mid-evening Thursday, Isla said.

No flash-flooding hazards are anticipated locally, unlike in the Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside areas, and winds will likely be unspectacular, as well, though gusts of up to 45 mph are possible in the eastern highlands.

The departure of the storm system out of the Gulf of Alaska will usher in a mild weekend under partly cloudy skies, Isla said.