Winter storm today is expected to bring showers, gusty winds, waterspouts


City News Service

A cold front associated with a winter storm will move across Southern California today, bringing moderate to heavy rain, gusty winds and a chance of thunderstorms and snow to San Diego County, forecasters said.

Rainfall is likely to begin toward the end of the morning commute, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Philip Gonsalves, who said the heaviest precipitation will occur between 10 a.m. and noon.

After that, showers will linger throughout the afternoon, he said.

Gonsalves estimated rainfall totals from the storm will range anywhere from four-tenths of an inch to more than two inches in the county.

The Weather Service scheduled a winter storm warning for mountain areas above 4,000 feet, from 2 this afternoon to 11 a.m. Saturday. That includes Boulevard, Cameron, Campo, Cuyamaca, Descanso, Julian, Lake Henshaw, Morena Village, Mount Laguna, Oak Grove, Pine Hills, Pine Valley, Ranchita, Santa Ysabel and Warner Springs.

During the winter storm warning, one to four inches of snow accumulation is possible at 4,000 feet; three to six inches between 4,500 and 5,000 feet; and six to 10 inches above 5,000 feet.

A wind advisory is scheduled for coastal and valley areas from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., when 35- to 45-mile per hour gusts are expected.

In the deserts, where 25- to 35-mile per hour winds gusting up to 60 mph are expected, a high wind warning is scheduled from 11 this morning to 11 a.m. Saturday. The storm is also expected to create heavy seas off the coast. A small craft advisory is scheduled from noon through Saturday evening. During the advisory period, the Weather Service expects wind gusts over coastal waters will be in excess of 25 knots and combined seas will be around 10 feet.

“Inexperienced mariners, especially those operating smaller vessels, should avoid navigating in these conditions,” according to a NWS advisory.

There’s also a chance of waterspouts from 7 a.m. through this afternoon, the Weather Service said.