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Heavy rain expected to start holiday week

SAN DIEGO — A storm heading to Southern California could bring heavy rain and thunderstorms to San Diego County starting after midnight Sunday evening, but probably won’t hit the city of San Diego until daybreak Monday, the National Weather Service said.

Sunday evening’s storm is the first of two Pacific storms that will hit Southern California during the week. A colder cell arriving Christmas night and lasting through Thursday will see temperatures plummeting and rain levels increasing, forecasters said.

Sunday was expected to be mostly cloudy in San Diego County.

“Most substantial rain and mountain snow will occur tonight through Monday with another round Christmas night through Thursday,” the weather service said. Also on Monday, “forecast precipitation amounts from the coast to the mountains are mostly in the .5- to 1-inch range. Localized urban flooding is possible with the flash flood risk low.”

Snow levels will be at 5,500 to 6,000 feet Sunday night and Monday, falling to 5,000 feet early Tuesday. A winter weather advisory remains in effect for the San Bernardino County mountains above 5,000 feet. Snow amounts of 1 to 3 inches are forecast between 5,000 and 6,000 feet, and 8 to 12 inches above 7,000 feet.

Precipitation will come to an end Friday with dry weather likely next weekend, forecasters said. However, another Pacific storm could arrive by New Year’s Eve.

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