Wednesday Update – Heavy Rainfall, Thunderstorms, Snow Coming to Riverside County
RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Storm systems that are forecast to start pounding the Inland Empire Thursday will produce intense winds, heavy rain and snowfall at higher elevations, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a series of advisories.
The agency posted a winter storm watch from Wednesday night to Friday afternoon, a flood watch from 6 a.m. Thursday to 10 a.m. Friday, and a high wind watch from 4 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday.
The advisories cover most of the inland region.
“Widespread moderate to heavy rain is expected on Thursday,” the NWS said in a statement. “There is also a slight chance of thunderstorms for Thursday into Thursday evening … west of the mountains. Rainfall totals through Friday will range from 1.5 to 2 inches near the coast, 2 to 3 inches in the mountains, and .3 to .5 inches closer to the deserts.”
Low-lying areas, particularly around mountainous terrain, may be exposed to significant runoff, raising flood dangers, according to the agency.
The activity stems from back-to-back troughs of low pressure driven by an “atmospheric river” directed over Southern California by a southward bending jet stream, meteorologists said.
The NWS noted that as the initial trough and cold front push into the region Wednesday night, “strong southerly winds are expected.”
“Peak wind gusts along the coast will be 40 to 50 mph, with gusts 35 to 45 mph possible in the valleys,” the agency stated. “In the mountains and deserts, peak gusts of 40 to 50 mph are possible.”
Communities along Highway 243, including Idyllwild-Pine Cove, are in store for varying amounts of snow accumulations, according to forecasters.
“The snow level will start at 6,500 to 7,000 feet Thursday morning at the onset of the precipitation,” the NWS said. “Periods of heavy snowfall are expected in the San Bernardino and Riverside County mountains above 6,500 feet Thursday morning to early afternoon. Snow levels will fall to 4,500 feet by early Friday.”
The agency predicted 1 to 3 inches of snow at 4,500 feet, 3 to 6 inches at 6,000 feet, and up to 2 feet of snow above 8,000 feet from Thursday to Saturday.
There will be a lull Saturday and Saturday night before another, less intense storm front reaches the region Sunday into Monday.
Daytime temperature in the Riverside metropolitan area Wednesday will hover in the upper 70s, dropping to the lows 50s overnight, while Thursday to Saturday highs will peak in the upper 50s, with lows in the low 40s.
In the Coachella Valley, highs will top out in the mid-70s Wednesday, with lows in the mid-50s. Thursday to Saturday, the daytime mercury won’t edge much above 60, falling to the mid-40s at night.
In the Temecula Valley, daytime temps will stall in the upper 60s Wednesday, dropping to the upper 40s Wednesday night, while Thursday to Saturday, the highs won’t exceed 55 degrees, with lows in the low 40s, according to the NWS.
Heavy Rainfall On The Way For Riverside County
RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Storm systems propelled by an atmospheric river will bear down on the Inland Empire toward the end of this week, generating periodically heavy rainfall, stiff winds and thunderstorms, according to the National Weather Service.
“A strong cold front is expected to arrive in SoCal Thursday, with precipitation spreading across the area, becoming heavy in the afternoon,” the NWS said in a statement. “It is associated with an atmospheric river band and strong upper level jet stream.”
A southward bend in the jet that’s common during winter months will drive back-to-back troughs of low pressure from the Gulf of Alaska through the region, with the first sweeping through Thursday and the second on Friday, meteorologists said.
“While it’s too early for a flood watch, there is an excessive rainfall outlook for southwest California on Thursday,” the NWS said. “General rainfall totals are forecast 1 to 2 inches, but also hourly rates of at least .5 inches along the frontal band … Thursday night and Friday.”
Prognostication charts published by the Weather Service indicated unstable conditions, including isolated thunderstorms, will persist from Thursday morning to Friday night. Winds will increase ahead of the fronts, forecasters said.
There will be a lull over the weekend before another, lighter storm front reaches the region Sunday night into Monday.
The San Bernardino Mountains and the area around Idyllwild-Pine Cove will receive some snow at the higher elevations during this week’s storms, according to the NWS.
Daytime temperatures in the Riverside metropolitan area Monday to Wednesday will hover in the mid 70s, dropping to the lows 50s overnight, while Thursday to Saturday, highs will peak in the low 60s, with lows in the mid 40s.
In the Coachella Valley, highs will top out near 80 Monday to Wednesday, with lows in the mid 50s. Thursday to Saturday, the daytime mercury will be in the mid 60s, falling to the mid 40s at night.
In the Temecula Valley, temps will be identical to the Riverside area Monday to Wednesday, but Thursday to Saturday, the highs won’t exceed 60, with lows in the mid 40s, according to the Weather Service.
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