Much colder weather will bring several days of snow to the mountains and rain everywhere else beginning Thursday in San Diego County, forecasters said.
A series of upper level low pressure systems will cause unsettled weather in the region from today into Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.
The first cold front will likely reach San Diego County later this afternoon, with strong wind gusts mainly in the mountains and deserts, the agency reported. Rainfall totals were expected to range from a tenth of an inch in the deserts to between a quarter and a half-inch on the coast.
The NWS said the snow level will drop from above 6,000 feet today to between 4,500 and 5,000 feet, with more than six inches of snow expected to accumulate over the weekend.
The second, colder system is expected late Friday and is likely to cause heavy showers at times through Saturday, according to the Weather Service.
Rainfall totals from the second storm were expected to be about a half to three-quarters of an inch west of the mountains, up to two inches on the coastal mountain slopes, and about a quarter-inch in the deserts.
There's also a possibility of thunderstorms, funnel clouds and waterspouts over the weekend, forecasters said.
Though showers should taper off Sunday, a third system could bring more showers Monday into Tuesday, the Weather Service reported.
The much needed rain will provide irrigation and reduce wildfire hazards, according to the agency, which also cautioned drivers to slow down once the rain begins.
Snow, blowing snow and dense fog may also make travel in the mountains hazardous, the NWS warned.