The first of two Pacific storm systems is expected to reach the Inland Empire Tuesday, bringing light to moderate rain everywhere except the Coachella Valley, according to the National Weather Service.

The initial cold trough moving in from the west will arrive late Tuesday afternoon and could begin dropping rain Tuesday evening, forecasters said.

The storm cell could bring anywhere between a half-inch and seven-tenths of an inch of rain to the Riverside metropolitan area and Temecula Tuesday and Wednesday, around four-tenths of an inch to Lake Elsinore and up to seven-tenths of an inch in the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning, according to the NWS.

Idyllwild could get up to 1.25 inches of rain while the Coachella Valley is expected to get less than one-tenth of an inch.

Snow levels will remain above 8,000 feet through Thursday then drop to 5,000 feet as the second storm arrives, NWS Meteorologist Adam Roser said.

The bulk of the rain is expected to fall on Wednesday, Roser said.

The first storm will taper off late Wednesday night before another cold trough sweeps into the region Thursday and brings scattered showers through Friday night, the meteorologist said.

It is unlikely that flooding, mud and debris flows will develop around the Cleveland National Forest and the Temescal Valley, according to the Riverside County Emergency Management Department.

More information is available at

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 arson blaze denuded steep terrain below Santiago Peak, permitting water to flow unchecked onto lower slopes where subdivisions are situated.

Heavy rainfall on Valentine’s Day resulted in significant flooding, prompting street closures and evacuations. A homeless woman died Feb. 14 when she was swept away by a heavy water flow in a concrete stormwater channel in Riverside, and several homes in Lake Elsinore were damaged by the downpour.

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