RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Heavy rain will fall at times in Riverside County tonight and snow will likely fall in the Idyllwild-Pine Cove area, according to the National Weather Service.
A winter storm warning will remain in effect until 5 a.m. Friday in the mountain communities above 5,500 feet in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.
As of 10:15 a.m. Wednesday, 6 inches of snow had fallen in Idyllwild-Pine Cove near the 6,100 foot mark, according to the NWS.
That area is expected to get up to 10 more inches of snow through Friday morning, NWS meteorologist Miguel Miller said. Snow levels will be around 4,900 feet this morning, then rise to 5,500 feet by this afternoon and remain there through Friday morning.
NWS officials warned motorists to use caution when driving on mountain roads above 5,500 feet because the roads could be slippery and visibility could be limited by the falling snow.
A flash flood warning is also in effect throughout the county until Friday afternoon.
Scattered showers will continue this morning as the center of the upper low-pressure system lingers over the Las Vegas area, but that system is making its way back to southern California and will be centered over Los Angeles by tonight, Miller said.
That means heavy rain is expected at times starting this afternoon and continuing through Friday morning, he said.
Rainfall totals through Friday afternoon could reach 1.5 inches in the Riverside metropolitan area and the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning, while the mountains could get 2.5 inches and up to a half-inch of rain is expected to fall in the Coachella Valley.
In a 72-hour period ending at 3 a.m. today, Vista Grande had gotten the most rain, 4.21 inches, followed by 4.06 in Angeles Hill, 3.98 in Poppet Flats, 2.87 in Allandale and 2.64 in Idyllwild.
Other noteworthy rainfall totals included 2.36 inches in Temecula and Beaumont, 2.18 at the Riverside March Air Reserve Base, 2.17 in the Morena-Clark area, 1.26 in Lake Elsinore, 0.79 in Desert Hot Springs and 0.67 at the Palm Spring International Airport.
High temperatures today could reach 53 degrees in Riverside, 60 in the San Gorgonio Pass, 67 in the Coachella Valley, 37 in Idyllwild, 52 in Temecula and 54 in Hemet.
The storm is expected to leave the region to the east by Friday night, then dry weather with warmer temperatures will persist through at least the middle of next week, forecasters said.