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Winter Storm Bears Down On San Diego Area

Storm clouds form over the San Carlos area in San Diego, Jan. 22, 2021.
KPBS Staff
Storm clouds form over the San Carlos area in San Diego, Jan. 22, 2021.

Following a spell of unseasonably warm and dry Santa Ana conditions in the San Diego area, a cold storm will return wintry weather — including widespread rainfall and mountain snow — to the region this weekend, forecasters said.

The precipitation will likely begin Friday night and reach its peak Saturday, according to meteorologists.

A National Weather Service winter-weather advisory will be in effect for local mountain locales for 24 hours, starting at 10 p.m. Friday. Over the period, snowfall accumulations of 1 to 3 inches are likely around the 4,000- foot level, and 3 to 8 inches above 5,000 feet, according to the NWS.


Precipitation amounts through Saturday night will total one-tenth of an inch to a half-inch west of the mountains, from one-quarter to three- quarters of an inch in the East County highlands, and from a hundredth to a tenth of an inch in the deserts, forecasters said.

After a break in the inclement weather during the day Sunday, a second, much more severe cold wave is scheduled to arrive in the area. Snow levels will fall below 3,000 feet, and perhaps down to 1,500 feet in the high deserts, and accumulations in the mountains will be from 6 to 18 inches, the NWS advised.

Rain amounts during the follow-up storm, which is expected to last from Sunday evening through Monday night, will range from 0.5 to 1.5 inches west of the mountains, meteorologists said.