A final storm system is expected to dump moderate rainfall and snow Monday in the Inland Empire, forecasters said.
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the San Bernardino Mountains and the Riverside County Mountains that remains in effect through 4 a.m. Wednesday.
Snow levels will be around 5,500 feet Monday then drop to around 2,500 feet by Tuesday night, NWS meteorologist Miguel Miller said.
“Very heavy snow is expected to fall near the top of Mt. San Jacinto,” Miller said. “Snowfall totals through Tuesday night are expected to be between six inches and a foot above 6,000 feet and between one and three feet above 7,500 feet.”
The snow along with gusty winds in the mountain passes could create hazardous conditions on the roads, Miller said.
Intermittent showers will begin Monday morning and remain through Tuesday night, according to the Weather Service.
The Riverside metropolitan area and Lake Elsinore are expected to get up to six-tenths of an inch of rainfall Monday while the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning could see up to 1.2 inches, meteorologists said. Up to 1.6 inches of precipitation is forecast for Idyllwild and less than one-tenth of an inch is expected in the Coachella Valley.
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 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.
The scattered showers will remain in the Inland Empire until Tuesday night and the storm cell is expected to exit the region by Wednesday morning, Miller said.