SAN DIEGO -- Surfers and travelers in San Diego County were urged to use caution this weekend in advance of an approaching winter storm, after the National Weather Service issued advisories for high surf and windy conditions in local mountains and desert regions.
Heavy rain and snow were forecast as a cold front was expected to move in rapidly from the Northwest.
The snow level was expected to reach 5,500 feet in San Diego County on Monday, with several inches expected to fall. Rainfall was predicted to be about an inch to an inch and a half.
High surf was expected to last until Tuesday. The swells were expected to reach eight to nine feet Saturday and get to as high as 12 to 15 feet on Sunday and 16 to 18 feet on Monday and Tuesday.
The NWS also warned swimmers of dangerous conditions caused by the high surf, rip currents, coastal flooding and beach erosion.
Strong, gusty west winds were forecast for the mountains and deserts Saturday night through Sunday night. A wind advisory was in effect until 3 a.m. Monday, with gusts up to 55 mph in some mountain areas and isolated gusts predicted to reach up to 70 mph.
The NWS warned drivers of high profile vehicles to use extra caution since the windy conditions could make driving difficult.
The city of San Diego is planning to provide periodic storm-related updates this weekend, according to spokesman Bill Harris.
Though the city does not anticipate the same level of impact seen during the January storms, it has been working to minimize the potential for storm damage, Harris said.