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Winter storm watch begins Sunday

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SAN DIEGO -- Following a sunny weekend, rain and snow were slated to descend on San Diego County starting early next week, making for potentially dangerous driving conditions for those traveling through the mountains, forecasters said Friday.

The storm was expected to start Sunday night, though the heaviest rain and snowfall is slated for Monday morning.

A winter storm watch is set to go into effect late Sunday through Tuesday morning as significant snow, sleet and ice accumulations were expected to impact travel in the county.

Forecasters warned county residents snowy weather could impact interstates 15 and 8, as well as other mountain highways. Gusty winds were expected to accompany the snow, further reducing visibility along mountain roadways.

Up to two feet of snow was expected in areas above 6,000 feet, though snowfall was expected in areas as low as 2,500 feet, according to the National Weather Service. Total snow accumulations of 3 to 7 inches, with localized amounts up to 12 inches, were possible.

Similar snowy mountain conditions during this week's winter storm led authorities to shut down portions of I-8 and state Route 79 Thursday.

Moderate rainfall was expected in the county's coastal and desert areas through Monday night, according to the NWS. More than a half-inch of rain could hit the coasts and valleys, bringing a potential for minor flooding.

The storm was expected to diminish beginning Tuesday afternoon.

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