Unstable Weather to Persist Across Inland Empire Through Friday

Connor Forbes
Connor Forbes
4 Min Read

Unstable Weather to Persist Across Inland Empire Through Friday

RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Inclement conditions generated intense rain showers, winds, snow and other instability aloft throughout the Inland Empire, with more of the same on the way Wednesday, though not as severe, according to forecasters.

“Widespread precipitation … will become more showery and continue at times through Friday and possibly into Saturday,” the National Weather Service said in a statement. “There is also a slight chance of thunderstorms for Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday morning. The snow level will … fall to around 4,000 feet for late Tuesday night.”

A winter storm warning is in effect for the Riverside County and San Bernardino mountains until 8 a.m. Thursday. The NWS advised heavy snow above 6,000 feet, with the heaviest accumulations — up to two feet — above 7,000 feet.

According to NWS precipitation counts, from Sunday morning to Tuesday morning, the Idyllwild-Pine Cove community had received 3 inches of new snow. An additional 5 to 10 inches was forecast going into Thursday morning.

Elsewhere in Riverside County, the north end of Lake Elsinore documented the highest amount of rainfall in the western county region from Sunday to Tuesday at 4 inches. Riverside Municipal Airport recorded just over 3 inches, and in Murrieta, the latest total was just under 2.5 inches.

By comparison, the Coachella Valley’s precipitation totals were on the thin side, with Palm Springs International Airport at roughly a half-inch and Thermal Airport at less than a quarter inch.

“Folks in the Coachella Valley have gotten a welcome break,” Riverside County Emergency Management Department Director Bruce Barton told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. “This storm has really hit us on the west side of the county.”

Barton said the adverse weather had not overwhelmed first responders, but he pointed to “unfortunate” instances where people didn’t pay heed to warnings in advance and got themselves into predicaments.

“We had a lot of swift water rescues yesterday,” Barton said, referring to the nearly 20 itinerants extricated Monday from sand bars and other isolated places within the Santa Ana River bottom in Riverside and Jurupa Valley. The area is rife with homeless encampments.

“Some people didn’t listen,” Barton said. “We had flooding in the usual low-lying areas.”

He said some motorists ended up stuck on flooded roads that were closed by county crews, with signs that the drivers chose to ignore.

Supervisor Kevin Jeffries was irked by the incautious behavior, calling the rescues “unfortunate occurrences” brought on by “stupid people going around barricades and putting themselves and first responders in danger.”

According to the weather service, a series of weak low pressure troughs will skirt the California coast until Friday, keeping the inland region and other locations wet.

Prognostication charts published by the NWS showed rain and snow off and on until late Friday night.

Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in eight counties, including Riverside and San Bernardino counties. The proclamation includes provisions authorizing a California National Guard response if tasked, facilitating unemployment benefits for impacted residents, and making it easier for out-of-state contractors and utilities to repair storm damage.

The other counties included were Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

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Unstable Weather to Persist Across Inland Empire Through Friday
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