The Coast News Group

Storm expected to bring rainfall to San Diego area

REGION — A powerful storm is expected to roll in this afternoon, the National Weather Service said, with rain on the coast and snow possible in the mountains of San Diego County.

San Diego is expected to see 0.91 inches of rain during the course of the storm, which will be the first significant storm of the season, according to the NWS.

Oceanside is forecast to see 1.23 inches and Escondido 1.47 inches.

A Winter Storm Watch and High Wind Watch will be in effect in mountain areas through late Tuesday night.

Snow levels were expected to remain above 8,000 feet throughout much of Southern California on Monday night — too high to cause snowfall in the San Diego area — but will drop rapidly to 5,000 feet by Tuesday afternoon, making snow possible in some areas that day.

Strong winds were predicted late Monday through Tuesday, with potential gusts on from 55 to 75 mph along desert slopes and below mountain passes, the NWS said.

The gusts could adversely impact travelers in San Diego County along Interstates 8 and 15, and U.S. Highway 395. High winds may also hinder travelers along Interstate 5 on the Grapevine in the Los Angeles area.

The commute is expected to be worst Tuesday morning between 4 and 10 a.m. as drivers contend with heavy rain, isolated thunderstorms, strong winds and poor visibility, according to the NWS.

Urban areas of San Diego County were predicted to be spared the worst of the storm, while a flash flood warning was issued for Los Angeles, Riverside and Orange counties.