Intermittent rain showers are expected to continue through Tuesday night in much of Riverside County, but the mandatory evacuation orders issued Saturday for the Holy Fire burn areas have been lifted, authorities said.

The most significant weather will be due to periodic snow accumulation in the mountains through Tuesday night, according to forecaster James Brotherton.

A winter storm warning has been extended through Tuesday night for the San Bernardino Mountains, and a winter weather advisory has been issued for the Riverside Mountains through 4 a.m. Wednesday.

On Tuesday, much colder air will drop the snow levels to as low as 2,500-3,000 feet, which could cause travel chaos on major passes and potential for snow in the High Desert, Brotherton said.

“Heavy rainfall could trigger flash flooding in low-lying areas,” according to the NWS. “…Debris flow can bring mud, boulders, trees and water crashing down. It might not happen within the first rain. It might not happen during the second rain, or third. But it will happen and you and your family could be in grave danger if you become complacent,” said Riverside County Fire Department Chief Shawn Newman in a video message posted on social media.

Rain showers are expected to linger through Sunday afternoon, then a third storm front will bring lighter precipitation Monday morning through Tuesday, according to the Weather Service.

The Riverside metropolitan area could get up to 1.2 inches of rainfall, while Lake Elsinore was expected to see up to 1.8 inches and the San Gorgonio Pass is forecast to get around 2 inches, meteorologists said. Up to 2.4 inches of precipitation is predicted for Idyllwild, and the Coachella Valley will receive around a half-inch.

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 latest orders were issued Saturday morning as rain pummeled the area, but have been lifted as of Sunday morning.

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 situated.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *