SAN DIEGO — An unusually cold storm system with heavy precipitation is moving through San Diego County, bringing high winds, chilly conditions, consistent rain and possible low elevation snow from this evening until early next week.
The first impact of the storm will begin to manifest later tonight with intense westerly winds spanning from the coast to the desert that will intensify to potentially damaging force before dying down Wednesday morning.
Winds near beach areas could reach up to 25 to 30 mph during this time with 60 mph gusts, making for hazardous travel conditions that will likely cause delays at the San Diego International Airport. Desert and mountain communities could see high winds of up to 90 mph.
Scattered light to moderate showers are likely to begin tonight and continue into Wednesday afternoon. With particularly low temperatures Tuesday, snow levels are expected to plunge to elevations as low as 2,000 ft., meaning inland valley communities could get some light wet snow.
More widespread precipitation will pick up Wednesday night, likely bringing heavy rain across the county and snow to mountain communities.
By early next week, coastal areas could pick up two to three inches of total rainfall from the storm.
A Winter Storm Watch is in effect Tuesday through the weekend due to heavy snow and high winds up to 90 mph for places such as Julian, Pine Valley, Mt. Laguna and Palomar Mountain. Up to two feet of snow is possible with this storm system.
Messy, high surf will also impact beaches, bringing breaking waves around eight to 10 feet with local sets as high as 14 feet.
Cold air coming directly from the poles are will also bring colder than normal temperatures Tuesday night, the National Weather Service said. Generally, San Diego can go five to six years without these types of conditions.
Afternoon temperatures are forecasted to reach the mid 50s for beaches, low 50s for inland valleys and mid 30s for the mountain areas.
With this winter storm, please be careful, stay up to date with forecasts and limit travel if you can.