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Wind advisory in effect for San Diego County mountains, deserts

The Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is pictured in this photo, June 19, 2020.
KPBS Staff
The Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is pictured in this photo, June 19, 2020.

Dramatically cooler weather will move across Southern California Thursday, with a pair of storm systems bringing "sharply" colder temperatures, rain and mountain snow.

A winter storm watch will be in effect in the San Diego and Riverside County mountains Thursday night through Sunday morning, with the National Weather Service warning of possible heavy snow and strong winds.

Forecasters said as much as 2 feet of snow could fall above 6,000 feet, with 1 to 5 inches possible at lower elevations down to 4,000 feet. According to the weather service, the first system will arrive tonight into Friday, followed by a second round of precipitation Friday night into Sunday.

"Snowy and windy conditions with significant reductions in visibility are possible, especially during the morning commute on Friday," according to the NWS.

A wind advisory will also be in effect for Riverside and San Diego County mountains, along with San Diego County desert areas, from noon through midnight. Forecasters said wind gusts of up to 70 mph are possible in some areas.

Forecasters said San Diego and western Riverside counties can expect falling temperatures starting today, then drop more dramatically.

"The weather will turn sharply colder Friday through Sunday as a series of shortwaves in cold northwest flow brings rain, wind and mountain snow," according to the NWS.

Weather service officials said the San Diego County mountains will likely receive the most precipitation during the first wave of the storm, with 1 to 1.75 inches of rain possible, while coastal and valley areas could get between a quarter-inch to an inch of rain. Desert areas will see 0.1 to 0.25 inches, forecasters said.

As the second front moves into the region Saturday, more rain will fall in mountain areas, along with another quarter-inch possible in valley areas. The snow level, meanwhile, will drop to about 3,500 feet, with "several more inches" of snow likely.