Widespread showers of low to medium intensity hung over Riverside County most of the day Tuesday, but the inclement weather did not trigger flooding, which was forecast for Thursday in some spots.
According to the National Weather Service, the Riverside metropolitan area received roughly a half-inch of precipitation during daylight hours, while the heaviest rain was concentrated in Murrieta, which got close to an inch.
Lake Elsinore and the Temescal Valley, where Riverside County officials were maintaining a close watch for mud and debris flows stemming from the burn scar in the Cleveland National Forest, recorded about three-quarters of an inch of rain, but it fell over eight hours, sparing the area from flooding.
Scattered showers were in the forecast for Wednesday across the Inland Empire, but they were not likely to pose major risks, meteorologists said
“On Thursday, a more impressive atmospheric river will bring even more substantial rain,” according to a National Weather Service statement. “This system is trending … with greatest amounts of (precipitation) in Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. The Inland Empire could receive 1 to 2 inches of rain. This system may bring the greatest risk of flash flooding.”
The Riverside County Emergency Management Department issued mandatory evacuation orders Monday morning for neighborhoods north of Lake Elsinore, but those orders were downgraded to voluntary evacuation warnings Monday night, and the EMD asked residents to stay alert to changes over the next 48 hours that could mean another mandatory evacuation.
More information is available at www.rivcoready.org .
A winter storm warning for the county mountains was originally set to expire at 10 a.m. Tuesday, but it was extended until 3 a.m. Wednesday.
The mile-high area covering Idyllwild and Poppet Flats received between a half-inch and inch of fresh snow Tuesday, according to the Weather Service.
A wide area skirting the eastern boundary of the Cleveland National Forest was left exposed to potential flood and mud 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 situated.
Rains on Dec. 6 resulted in significant flooding and mud flows into several neighborhoods, prompting street closures and evacuations. However, there was no major damage to homes.