SAN DIEGO (CBS 8/ CNS) - A cold winter storm is expected to bring rain, wind and snow Tuesday night, and some of the wintry weather has already started.
The storm out of the Gulf of Alaska began moving over the San Diego area Tuesday, bringing scattered precipitation expected to increase markedly Tuesday night and early Wednesday.
As of late Tuesday afternoon, the banks of dark clouds had dropped only traces of moisture in many parts of the county, and a few one-hundredths to around a tenth of an inch in other areas.
Total rainfall from the unsettled atmospheric system likely will range from one-quarter to three-quarters of an inch along the coast and in the valleys, as much as two inches on some mountain slopes, and up to a half-inch in desert locales, according to the National Weather Service. Some small hail also is possible, the federal agency advised.
The snow level, meanwhile, should drop to as low as 1,500 feet Tuesday night and possibly to 1,000 feet by around dawn Wednesday. The storm is expected to drop anywhere from one to four inches of frozen white flakes between 2,000 and 3,000 feet, up to eight inches between 3,000 and 5,000 feet, and as much as 20 inches on the highest local peaks.
Driving and boating could be hazardous at times as winds up to 70 mph blow over desert slopes and passes, and gale-force gusts whip along the ocean shoreline, according to meteorologists.