RIVERSIDE – A high wind warning and flash flood watch were issued by the National Weather service for Riverside County beginning today, Feb. 17, as a strong Pacific storm enters the region, packing heavy precipitation and potentially damaging winds.
In the Coachella Valley, there is only a 20 percent chance of rain this afternoon but heavy rain is expected tonight.
The high wind warning was scheduled to begin at 7 a.m. and remain in effect until 2 a.m. Saturday for the city of Riverside, the surrounding
valleys, the Coachella Valley and the San Gorgonio Pass zone, which includes the cities of Banning and Desert Hot Springs.
The flash flood watch begins at noon Friday until Saturday afternoon for the entire county.
Forecasters said that while heavy snow would be confined to locations above 6,000 feet, strong winds are likely at all elevations. The strongest winds are expected today, when gusts may down trees and power lines and could possibly damage some structures.
The strongest wind gusts are expected to be 31 miles per hour in Hemet; 32 mph in Palm Springs; 36 mph in Thermal; 38 mph in Anza; 40 mph in Temecula; 43 mph in Riverside; and 44 mph in Lake Elsinore, according to the weather service.
Showers are likely Saturday morning, with a slight chance for thunder showers in the afternoon. There’s a 70 percent chance for measurable rain Saturday afternoon, with a 40 percent chance by the evening.