NOAA map shows the likely track of Hurrican Rosa
NOAA map shows the likely track of Hurrican Rosa.

The remnants of Hurricane Rosa are expected to drop rain in the desert and mountain regions of Riverside County as early as Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

Although the hurricane is expected to weaken as it moves up Mexico’s Baja peninsula and into the Southwest region, meteorologists say it will still dump one to one and a half inches of rain in mountain areas, one half to one inch in the Coachella Valley and one quarter to one half inch in some high desert areas, such as the Morongo Basin, through Tuesday.

Some Inland Valley cities may also be dampened by rain, according to the NWS.

Forecasters said scattered thunderstorms could develop as early as Sunday afternoon in the deserts and mountains.

Hurricane Rosa was a Category 4 hurricane on Thursday but was downgraded to a Category 2 by Friday night, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The storm is expected to dissipate by Tuesday, but rainfall could extend into Wednesday and early Thursday as a low pressure system rotating inland from the northwest slowly moves into the area, the NWS said.

The Emergency Management Department warned residents in the Cranston and Holy fires burn areas that the potential for six days of moisture could trigger mud and debris flows around locations where the vegetation was consumed by the fires.

The EMD noted that “powerful mixtures of mud, rocks, boulders and trees” might flow into streets, backyards and homes, depending on the speed and mass of the runoff.

The Cranston Fire erupted July 25 near Mountain Center and was contained on Aug. 9, after blackening just over 13,000 acres. The alleged arson blaze destroyed multiple structures and prompted the evacuation of Idyllwild and surrounding communities, along with the closure of state Routes 74 and 243 in the San Bernardino National Forest.

The Holy Fire, which investigators allege was also intentionally set, broke out on Aug. 6 and was fully contained by Sept. 13. An estimated 23,136 acres burned, with several structures destroyed, mostly on the Orange County side of the Cleveland National Forest. Parts of Lake Elsinore and surrounding communities were evacuated at the height of the fire.

According to the EMD, if evacuation orders are given because of flooding or mud flows next week, residents in the affected areas should immediately leave. Alerts will be posted to www.RivCoReady.org/AlertRivCo .

Evacuation warnings — which are advisory but involve recommendations that people take precautions and be prepared to go — generally will be issued 24-48 hours before a storm, officials said.

Evacuation orders will be issued 6-12 hours before impacts.

Riverside County and some municipal fire departments will have sandbags available, in limited quantities, this weekend and next week. More information is available at www.RVCFire.org, or by contacting individual fire stations, officials said.

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