SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A low pressure system out of the Gulf of Alaska brought rain, strong winds and much cooler temperatures to San Diego County Friday.
The National Weather Service forecast daytime highs Friday in the 50s and lower 60s in lower elevations, and in the 30s and 40s in the mountains -- about 25 to 35 degrees cooler than highs recorded in the region earlier this week.
Rainfall totals from the system Friday were expected to be a tenth- to a quarter-inch near the coast, while around a half-inch was expected in the mountains. Less than a tenth of an inch will fall in the deserts, forecasters said.
The drop in the temperature from the cold front will lower the local snow level to 4,500 to 5,000 feet by this afternoon, and to around 4,000 feet tonight into Saturday. According to the Weather Service, three to six inches of snowfall is possible above 4,500 feet and around six to 12 feet could accumulate on the highest peaks later Friday.
A winter storm warning is scheduled for areas above 4,500 feet from 6 tonight to noon Saturday, when up to 10 inches of snow is possible on the highest peaks, according to a NWS advisory. That includes the rural communities of Cuyamaca, Mount Laguna and Ranchita.
A winter storm warning means severe winter weather conditions are expected and may make travel dangerous. Strong gusty winds will also likely affect travel in the mountains and deserts.
According to the weather service, residents and visitors in those areas Friday can expect sustained west winds of 20 to 30 miles per hour, gusting up to 65 mph over the ridges and through wind-prone passes.
A high wind warning for mountain and desert areas is set to expire at noon, at which time a less-serious wind advisory will take effect. The weather service scheduled the wind advisory from noon to 3 a.m. Saturday.
The agency also issued a small craft advisory Friday for coastal waters off San Diego County. The coastal advisory is scheduled to remain in effect through late Saturday night.
Mariners can expect 3-foot wind waves this morning, becoming 2 feet or less as the day goes on.