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SAN DIEGO — Spring has sprung and the rain has begun (again).

Southern California is expected to get the heaviest rain from this next atmospheric river event expecting to bring widespread heavy showers, potentially damaging winds and cold temperatures.

Monday has mostly featured cloudy skies with periods of drizzle and light rain, but the widespread showers and gusty winds will pick up Tuesday morning through Wednesday evening from this atmospheric river event and subsequent cold front.

A High Wind Warning has been issued for beaches as well as mountains and deserts as wind gusts could reach up to 60 mph Tuesday. A Wind Advisory covers our inland valleys where gusts of up to 50 miles per hour are forecasted.

Flooding and excessive runoff are concerns over the next few days because of high rainfall rates and already saturated ground. Rain then becomes more showery Wednesday afternoon into evening. 

By Friday, coastal communities could end up with up to two inches of rain, up to 3 inches for inland valleys and around 5 inches or more for mountains.

Snow levels are hovering around 6,000 feet in elevation now but are expected to drop to 4,500 feet by Tuesday evening. A Winter Weather Advisory is in place for our mountain communities through Wednesday evening as wet snow is possible along with gusty winds. This will make mountain travel very difficult, especially in San Bernardino County mountains. Another four feet of snow could fall in Big Bear, with six inches to a foot of snowfall above 5,000 feet in San Diego County mountains.

Surf will also be choppy with gusty winds over coastal waters. Large west swell will bring large breaking waves four to eight feet with occasional sets nine to 12 feet through Thursday.

Mostly dry, but cold conditions will take over for Thursday into the weekend.