A storm system packing a wallop will hit the Inland Empire at mid-week, triggering rain and snow, though it’s too early to tell whether flooding may occur, according to forecasters.
Two troughs of low pressure — one from the Gulf of Alaska and the other from Hawaii — are expected to merge and roll into Southern California Tuesday evening, with the heaviest precipitation occurring at intervals Wednesday and Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.
“Models generally show a greater onshore push with the moisture late Wednesday afternoon into Wednesday night, with lesser rainfall toward the coast and with more significant amounts in the mountains,” according to an NWS statement. “Another round of more significant precipitation is possible on Thursday.”
Meteorologists said showers will linger into Friday, and a weaker storm front sweeping through Central California may produce light showers in Riverside and surrounding locations over the weekend.
Rainfall amounts in the Riverside metropolitan area are predicted to range between a half-inch to three quarters of an inch on Wednesday, and roughly a third of an inch on Thursday. Near the burn scar areas in the Cleveland National Forest, where flooding has periodically threatened parts of Lake Elsinore and the Temescal Valley, rainfall totals are predicted to be higher — just over an inch on Wednesday and close to an inch on Thursday, according to forecasters.
It was unclear whether or when flood advisories may be posted.
Coachella Valley communities will receive about a half-inch Wednesday and a quarter of an inch on Thursday, forecasters said.
The Riverside County Emergency Management Department is monitoring the weather pattern, but officials have not issued evacuation warnings for communities skirting the eastern boundary of the Cleveland National Forest.
A wide area bordering Lake Elsinore and the Temescal Valley was left exposed to potential flood damage due to the 23,000-acre Holy Fire. The August 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.
During a three-part storm series between Jan. 31 and Feb. 4, the EMD issued mandatory evacuation orders covering the Glen Ivy, Horsethief Canyon and McVicker Park communities on the north side of Lake Elsinore and south of El Cerrito, along Interstate 15.
Mud and debris flows prompted several street closures, but no significant damage was reported in connection with the storms.