A powerful storm is expected to bring showers, snow and gusty conditions to Riverside County peaking Tuesday.
Temperatures fell below average Monday ahead of the storm’s arrival from the northwest.
Inland areas west of the Riverside County mountains could see up to 1.5 inches of rain while the low desert could see between a quarter to a half inch of rain, according to the National Weather Service.
“A band of heavier rain will move from northwest to southeast across the area starting Tuesday morning,” according to the NWS. “Periods of heavy rain are expected, with a chance of thunderstorms after the main cold front moves through late Tuesday morning into the afternoon.”
A flood watch will be in effect Tuesday morning through this evening in much of the region, including Riverside County valleys and mountains. Forecasters said some areas could see rain falling at more than a half-inch per hour.
“Excessive runoff may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone locations,” according to the NWS. “Debris flows and flash flooding are possible near recent burn scars, including the Apple, El Dorado and Bond burn scars.”
Concerns about flooding prompted Riverside County officials to issue an evacuation warning Monday evening for select areas near the 2020 Apple Fire burn area north of Beaumont and Banning.
The warnings affect the Marshall C, Mias A, Portrero A and Noble A zones. Detailed information about evacuation warnings is available online at rivcoready.org/activeevents.
County officials also worked Monday to relocate homeless people out of the Santa Ana river bottom, which could be subject to flooding during the storm. Sandbags were also made available to residents at county fire stations.
A winter weather watch will go into effect beginning Monday night through late Tuesday evening for mountain areas above 6,000 feet in elevation, which forecasters said could see total snow accumulations of 6 to 12 inches.
Areas above 7,000 feet could see the most significant snowfall with up to 24 inches, the NWS said.
Additionally, mountain communities should brace themselves for gusts of up to 70 mph, along with heavy fog and blowing snow, which will create low visibility and treacherous travel conditions, the NWS warned.
The storm will move through Southern California before exiting to the east by Tuesday evening, though periods of damaging winds are expected to continue through Tuesday evening across the region, according to the NWS.
Three Red Cross shelters are open to provide safe refuge and resources for anyone affected by the storm.
The American Red Cross of Riverside County has opened a shelter at the Albert A. Chatigny Senior Community Center, 1310 Oak Valley Parkway in Beaumont; the American Red Cross of San Bernardino County has opened a shelter at Redlands East Valley High School, 31000 E. Colton Ave. in Redlands; and the American Red Cross of Orange County has opened a shelter at Lake Forest Sports Park, 28000 Rancho Parkway in Lake Forest.
Cool temperatures will persist throughout the week with the possibility of additional light showers late Thursday into Friday, forecasters said.