RIVERSIDE (CNS) - The latest storm cell will dump rain in the Inland
Empire today and snow in the mountains, where the icy weather could cause
hazardous driving conditions.
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning until 4
a.m. Wednesday for the Riverside County Mountains and the San Bernardino
``The mountain communities (in Riverside County), including Pine Cove
and Idyllwild, could get between four to eight inches of snow today,'' NWS
meteorologist Miguel Miller said.
The snow level is expected to remain around 4,000 feet through this
afternoon, but by Tuesday night frozen precipitation could materialize down at
3,000 feet, Miller said.
The snow, along with wind gusts reaching 45 mph, could create
hazardous conditions on the roads, the meteorologist said.
In Riverside County, motorists were advised to be prepared for travel
restrictions or mandatory snow chains in multiple locations.
Corridors most likely to experience winter weather are:
-- Interstate 10 between Banning and Yucaipa;
-- state Route 79 between Beaumont and San Jacinto;
-- state Route 60, in the Badlands, between Beaumont and Moreno Valley; and
-- all mountain routes between Hemet and Palm Desert, through the San
Bernardino National Forest.
Areas affected by the storm in the San Bernardino Mountains will have
chain installers available during chain control periods, according to Caltrans.
In a 24-hour period ending around 3 a.m., Temecula had the highest
precipitation total, with 1.03 inches, followed by 0.82 inches near the Banning
Bench, 0.59 in Lake Elsinore, 0.57 in the Riverside metropolitan area and 0.28
in Hemet, according to the NWS.
Around one-tenth of an inch rainfall is forecast today for the
Riverside metropolitan area and Lake Elsinore while Temecula could see up to
two-tenths of an inch, forecasters said. The San Gorgonio Pass near Banning
could get around three-tenths of an inch of rainfall, the county mountains will
get around nine-tenths of an inch and no rain is predicted for the Coachella
Multiple neighborhoods fell under mandatory evacuation orders at
intervals between Jan. 14 and Jan. 17, when the last storm series produced
intense downpours, resulting in a number of street closures. Mud and debris
flows, however, did not cause any serious damage to residential properties.
The Riverside County Emergency Management Department issued mandatory
evacuation orders Saturday morning for numerous communities in the Holy Fire
burn areas, but all mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders were lifted by
Officials will continue to monitor the chance of debris flows in the
Holy Fire burn areas and advised residents to arrange transportation, put fuel
in cars, gather items to take and make plans for animals in preparation for
A wide area skirting the eastern side of the national forest,
bordering Lake Elsinore and the Temescal Valley, was left exposed to potential
flood damage because of the 23,000-acre Holy Fire in August. The blaze,
allegedly the work of an arsonist, denuded steep terrain below Santiago Peak,
permitting water to flow unchecked onto lower slopes where subdivisions are
The precipitation is expected to end by late tonight and the storm
system will exit east out of the region by Wednesday morning, forecasters said.