Wednesday, February 15, 2012
A cold Pacific storm is expected to bring snow, rain and gusty winds to already saturated San Diego County today.
According to the National Weather Service, the second storm this week will arrive this afternoon and linger through Thursday morning. It's expected to drop the snow level from near 5,000 feet this morning to between 3,500 and 4,000 feet this afternoon.
"Snow levels will continue to fall this evening to around 3,000 feet, and may be locally lower with heavier showers,'' according to an NWS advisory. It said four to six inches of snow should accumulate above 3,000 feet today.
A winter weather advisory is scheduled for mountain areas above 3,000 feet, from 1 o'clock this afternoon to 10 a.m. Thursday. Affected areas include Boulevard, Cameron, Cuyamaca, Descanso, Julian, Lake Henshaw, Morena Village, Mount Laguna, Pine Hills, Pine Valley, Ranchita and Warner Springs.
In addition to snow, 15- to 25-mph winds with gusts of up to 50 mph are expected in the mountains today.
"Residents and travelers into higher elevations in the mountains should be prepared for hazardous winter weather and possible road closures,'' according to an NWS advisory. "Carry chains and take extra food, water and clothing.''
Windy conditions also are expected throughout the rest of the county.
In coastal and valley areas, a wind advisory is scheduled from 1 to 7 p.m. In the deserts, a wind advisory is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
According to the Weather Service, there will be 15- to 25-mph winds, with gusts up to 35 mph in coastal and valley areas, and up to 45 mph in the deserts.
The storm also is expected to spur 6- to 10-foot waves along the coast. A high surf advisory is scheduled from 10 this morning to 2 a.m. Thursday.
"An increase in the surf heights is likely today and tonight, especially along southern San Diego County due to a new northwest swell combined with a locally generated west swell,'' according to the Weather Service.
The agency advised inexperienced swimmers and surfers to stay out of the water today.
Also off the coast, a small craft advisory is scheduled from 10 a.m. through this evening. The NWS estimates there will be 15- to 25-knot winds over coastal waters.