A storm system poised to produce downpours and snow across the Inland Empire prompted authorities Thursday to issue mandatory evacuation orders for parts of Cherry Valley.
A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for large swaths of Riverside County from 7 Thursday evening to Friday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.
The agency said locally heavy rains have increased risks of flooding in and around burn scars, including the Apple and El Dorado burn areas within the San Gorgonio Pass.
That led the Riverside County Emergency Management Department to issue a mandatory evacuation for the Noble A, Noble F, Bench A, Mias A and Mias B zones, as well as the Millard Outdoor Shooting Range, all of which are located in or near Cherry Valley, north of Beaumont.
Residences on Avenida Miravilla, Live Oak Avenue and Vineland Street are within the mandatory evacuation area, according to the EMD.
A detailed map is available at www.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=401339131f5046c69a04a49c7282cccb.
Evacuation warnings are active in numerous neighborhoods, mostly throughout Cherry Valley and along the northern fringes of Beaumont.
“Showers with moderate to locally heavy rainfall will impact areas west of the mountains below 5,500 feet,” according to the NWS. “The heaviest rain is expected to begin before midnight, lasting through 6 a.m. Friday. Rainfall rates of .5 to .6 inches per hour are expected.”
There is a slight chance of thunderstorms, and freezing levels will generally hover around 5,500 to 6,000 feet, meaning snow at those elevations, forecasters said. Snow accumulation could be 5 to 7 inches.
Gusty winds are additionally anticipated in mountains and passes. Speeds will range from 30 to 50 mph in some locations, according to the NWS.
The agency warned residents to know escape routes and be ready to act immediately and heed all evacuation orders.
The system is the third in a series of storms to cross the area in recent days, stemming from an “atmospheric river” driven by the jet stream over Central California, according to the NWS.
High temperatures will stagnate in the low 50s in the Riverside metropolitan area Friday, warming up slightly Saturday and reaching about 70 on Sunday. Lows will dip into the low to mid 40s. A similar temperature range is forecast for the Coachella Valley.
The next rain producer is expected Tuesday, meteorologist said.