A storm system originating off the Gulf of Alaska doused the Coachella Valley Thursday, causing flooding on roadways in Palm Springs and Cathedral City.
A low-pressure system flowing in from the West Coast moved eastward out of the area Thursday afternoon, though isolated showers may return around 9 to 10 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. Forecasters were expecting possibly an additional one-tenth of an inch before the storm system fully moves out of the area.
“The rain is pretty much done,” NWS meteorologist Tyler Maio said around 3 p.m.
In the aftermath of the deluge, flooding was still causing problems in some areas including Palm Springs, where police reported that Indian Canyon Drive at the Whitewater Wash near Interstate 10 was shut down to vehicle traffic as of 2:41 p.m. And KESQ reported that Cathedral Canyon was closed at the wash just before 1 p.m. due to flooding.
The runoff from the storm saturated the valley’s normally dry washes and creeks as it traveled through the Palm Springs area along the Coachella Stormwater Channel and into Indio.
“The flow will impact low-water crossings with possible closures, and may create dangerous swift-water areas through the valley,” according to the NWS.
Local precipitation totals as of 2 p.m. show Agave Hill saw the most rain locally with 1.69 inches, followed by Windy Point and Whitewater Trout Farm with 1.45 and 1.42 inches, respectively.
Readings at Thermal Airport show 0.88 inches of rain within a 24-hour period; 0.87 in Indio; 0.82 in Desert Hot Springs; 0.71 at Palm Springs Airport; 0.67 in Thousand Palms and 0.55 in Palm Desert.
Forecasters on Wednesday predicted roughly one to two inches of rain would drop on the desert floor.
In the adjacent San Jacinto Mountains, the NWS said a reading taken in downtown Idyllwild just before noon showed 10 to 15 inches blanketed the area.
“This storm system really favored the San Bernardino Mountains,” Maio said.
Wrightwood, for comparison, saw 25 inches of snow as of early Thursday morning.
In Long Valley, 10 inches accumulated at the testing site nestled at 8,400 feet, just south of the top of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.
Weather models previously said up to 2 feet of snow was expected to land near the tram.
Highs ranged from the upper 40s to low 50s in the Coachella Valley, with lows expected to dip to the low 40s come nightfall.
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