A chilly autumn storm sent temperatures plummeting in the San Diego area Wednesday while delivering modest rainfall and gusty winds.
The unsettled atmospheric system out of the north began dousing the county with scattered mild showers in the early morning, according to the National Weather Service.
The precipitation, which could include flurries of snow on the region's highest peaks, was expected to peak around nightfall.
"The evening commute should be a wet one," meteorologist James Thomas said.
High temperatures will be 15 to 25 degrees below average for this time of year -- in the mid-50s to mid-60s in coastal and valley areas, mid-30s to mid-50s in the mountains and 60s to 70s in the deserts, the NWS advised.
Total rainfall levels were expected to reach up to three-quarters of an inch near the coast, half an inch in valley areas and 1.5 inches in the East County highlands.
A high-wind warning was in effect in the mountains and deserts until 3 a.m. Thursday, predicting gusts as high as 65 mph along ridge tops and in desert locales. The conditions could make driving hazardous, particularly for motorists in "high profile" vehicles, according to the weather service.
A gradual warming and drying trend was expected to begin Thursday and continue into early next week, the NWS reported.
-City News Service