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Gusty winds, mountain snow expected on New Year’s Eve

REGION — Cold, wet and windy conditions are expected today in parts of San Diego County as 2018 gives way to 2019 — and snow could be possible in the mountains, forecasters said.

The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory that is set to last from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. today in the mountains as a cold trough drops into the region.

Showers are expected along the west side of the mountains and light snow will be possible above 5,000 feet from late this morning through the evening, forecasters said. In the afternoon, the freezing level is expected to drop rapidly, possibly dropping snow as low as 3,500 feet.

Light rain will be possible in other parts of the region with around one-tenth of an inch of rainfall expected in Escondido, La Mesa, Chula Vista and El Cajon, according to the NWS.

Alpine could see up to a quarter-inch of rainfall and Oceanside, Escondido, National City and San Diego were expected to receive less than one-tenth of an inch of rain, forecasters said.

Icy conditions are expected on mountain roads and highways including Interstate 8, especially later this evening.

“Be prepared for snow-covered roads and limited visibility at times, and use caution while driving,” the NWS said.

The snow weather will also be accompanied by strong southeast winds with gusts ranging from 35 to 45 mph, forecasters said.

The high wind conditions prompted the NWS to issue a wind advisory for the mountains and valleys from 9 p.m. today to 2 a.m. Wednesday.

Strong northeast winds as high as 55 mph were expected to develop this evening and last through Tuesday night, the NWS said.

The winds could cause tree damage and make driving difficult. Blowing dust will also be possible and could reduce visibility, forecasters said.

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