SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A cold storm from the northwest, bringing rain and snow in the higher regions, was expected to reach Southern California late Sunday or early Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

As the storm moves inland across Southern California and northern Baja on Monday, widespread showers were predicted along with a slight chance of thunderstorms capable of producing small hail. The threat will continue Monday night and early Tuesday, the NWS said.

In the valleys, a 30 percent chance of rain was forecast after 10 p.m., becoming 90 percent by Monday morning. The rain was predicted to continue into Tuesday morning, then expected to move out by the afternoon.

Total rainfall was expected to range from a half-inch to more than an inch on the coast and in the valleys and one-quarter inch or less in the desert areas, the NWS said.

Heavy snowfall was expected in the mountains above 5,000 feet, with lesser amounts expected at the 4,000-foot level. Interstate 8 near Pine Valley could see snow Monday night.

There is a winter storm watch in effect for the mountains above 5,000 feet from Monday morning through late Monday night, the NWS said. A winter storm watch means there is a potential for significant snow, sleet or ice that may impact travel.

"We're looking at another storm system Friday into Saturday that may bring more snow to the mountains," said a weather service spokesman. "Along with it will be strong and gusty winds through and below the mountains passes and canyons."