Showers may start as early as 4 p.m. Friday in some areas of the county, but rain and snow will be most widespread Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning, Russo said. Rainfall totals from the entire weekend are expected to range from a half-inch to an inch along coast to up to two inches in the mountains, according to the National Weather Service, but Russo predicted coastal areas could receive up to 1 inch, inland valleys 1.5 inches and some mountain areas may get drenched with up to 3 inches of rain.
Heavy snow is likely in areas above 5,000 feet, according to the Weather Service, which scheduled a winter storm watch for the local mountains from Saturday afternoon to Monday afternoon.
“Be prepared for potentially hazardous winter travel through the regional mountains and passes,'' the NWS said.
Less than four inches of snow accumulation is forecasted for areas between 4,000 and 5,000 feet, and four to eight inches is expected from 5,000 to 6,000 feet, the NWS said. Russo said snowfall on the tallest San Diego peaks should range between 4 and 10 inches.
In addition to the winter storm watch, a wind advisory is scheduled for the mountains and the deserts from 6 Friday night to 3 a.m. Sunday. In issuing the wind advisory, the NWS said sustained west winds of 25 to 35 miles per hour and gust up to 55 mph are likely.
“Wintry weather may extend into Tuesday,'' the agency said. “Stay tuned to later forecasts to fine tune the expected conditions and amounts.''
A second storm is on track to bring additional rainfall early next week, Russo said. It may hit the region Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, she said.