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Storms to sweep through Riverside County

The first of three storms predicted to sweep through Southern California in quick succession will hit the region today, producing showers and thunderstorms, according to the First Alert Weather Team. The Valley could see as much as 0.20″ of rain in the late afternoon Thursday, with a more vigorous storm slated for Saturday.

The anticipated rain prompted county officials to issue a voluntary evacuation order late Wednesday for select areas near the recent Holy Fire burn area.

Forecasters said a low-pressure system rotating south from the Gulf of Alaska will make landfall this morning, though significant precipitation isn’t likely until the afternoon.

Temperatures will peak in the upper sixties here, with rain amounts generally less than an inch in Coastal and Inland valley areas, according to the National Weather Service.

“This will be a larger and slower-moving system, and more widespread and heavier precipitation is expected, along with periods of strong gusty southwest to west winds,” according to the NWS. “Snow levels will lower to around 5,500 feet for Saturday afternoon and evening, with snowfall totals
exceeding one foot possible above 7,000 feet.”

Rainfall in western Riverside County Saturday could range from 1 to 3 inches, while the deserts may receive 1 to 1.5 inches.

County officials urged residents to check maps at to determine if they are in an evacuation area.

Multiple neighborhoods fell under mandatory evacuation orders at intervals between Jan. 14 and Jan. 17, when a storm series triggered locally intense downpours, resulting in a number of street closures. Mud and debris flows, however, did not cause any serious damage to residential properties.

A wide area skirting the eastern side of the national forest, bordering Lake Elsinore and the Temescal Valley, was left exposed to potential flood damage because of the 23,000-acre Holy Fire in August. The blaze, allegedly the work of an arsonist, denuded steep terrain below Santiago Peak, permitting water to flow unchecked onto lower slopes where subdivisions are situated.

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KESQ News Team


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