A rainy night
Rain in Southern Califorma. Courtesy KEYNEWS.TV

It will be a wet start to the New Year throughout the Inland Empire and elsewhere as a series of winter storms queue up to dump precipitation, beginning on New Year’s Eve and continuing through the first week of 2023, according to the National Weather Service.

The agency said that an “atmospheric river will sag south” into Southern California thanks to a dip in the jet stream, producing rain, as well as snow at higher elevations. The first chapter of the storm series will begin after dark on Saturday in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

An Area Flood Watch is in effect from 6 p.m. Saturday to 2 a.m. Sunday, encompassing most of the Riverside metropolitan area and the mountain communities along Highway 243, as well as parts farther north and south.

The trough of low pressure will move quickly through the predawn hours Sunday, largely exiting the inland region by midday Sunday, inaugurating a short-lived dry spell, according to the NWS.

“The heaviest rain moves in Saturday night,” the agency said.

Forecasters noted that 1.5 to 3 inches of rain is possible along mountain slopes and higher up, with three-quarters of an inch to 1.5 inches possible in valley locations, and generally less than a half-inch in the deserts.

“This will be a warm storm, with snow levels above 7,500 feet, so most of the precipitation will fall as rain,” according to the Weather Service. “Snow impacts will mostly be confined to areas above 8,500 feet, where several inches will accumulate. Snow levels fall to 7,000 feet late Saturday night with the passage of the cold front, but by then the heaviest precipitation will have moved east.”

Prognostication charts released by the agency indicated bands of precipitation will return in the predawn hours Tuesday, as another trough rolls across the region. However, heavier weather is predicted Wednesday and Thursday, though it was uncertain how much of a wallop the next storms will pack.

High temperatures in the Riverside metro area will remain chilly, with highs hovering in the upper 50s from Saturday to Thursday, and lows in the low to mid 40s, according to meteorologists.

Daytime highs in the Temecula Valley will be slightly cooler than Riverside, mostly in the mid 50s, from Saturday to Thursday, and lows will range from 40 to 45 degrees,

The NWS said that the Coachella Valley’s daytime mercury will settle in the low to mid 60s from Saturday to Thursday, with lows in the mid to upper 40s.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *