Thanksgiving storm begins to weaken


RIVERSIDE (CNS) – A storm that produced rain and snow on Thanksgiving and the day before, causing flooding on roadways in Riverside County, significantly weakened Friday countywide.

The highest precipitation total in the metropolitan areas of the county was a quarter-inch in Temecula, according to totals recorded by the National Weather Service since 1 a.m. In the mountainous areas of the county, the highest total was in the foothills near Hemet, also at a quarter-inch.

However, a winter storm warning remains in effect until 10 p.m. tonight in the Riverside County mountains, where 2 to 3 inches of snow could still fall today, forecasters said.

As of midnight Thursday, 14 to 18 inches of snow had fallen in Idyllwild, according to the weather service, with most of the accumulation at 5,400 feet of elevation and above.

Minimal rain showers were possible still throughout the county on Friday, except in the Coachella Valley where forecasters said additional rainfall was not expected.

Showers could linger late tonight in the Riverside metropolitan area, but dry weather is expected throughout the county on Saturday, forecasters said.

The chance of measurable precipitation today is 50% in the Riverside metropolitan area, the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning and the Coachella Valley, but in the late afternoon the probability drops to between 20% and 30%.

Wind gusts could reach 40 mph in the mountains this afternoon, while winds in the Riverside metropolitan area are expected to be less than 20 mph.

Wind speeds in the Coachella Valley are expected to hover between 15 and 20

As of 9:16 a.m., Murrieta and Beaumont tied for receiving the most rain at 2.56 inches, followed by the northern portion of Lake Elsinore and Portrero Canyon with 2.41 inches each, Cranston with 2.32 inches, Valley Vista in Hemet and French Valley with both 2.28 inches, Temecula with 2.20 inches, Cabazon with 2.09 inches, Norco with 1.85 inches, according to the weather service.

In the Coachella Valley, 1.57 inches fell on Whitewater Trout Farm, 0.91 of an inch on Desert Hot Springs, 0.79 of an inch on Dead Indian Basin, 0.69 of an inch at the Palm Springs Airport, 0.67 of an inch in Agave Hill, 0.48 of an inch at Wide Canyon Dam, 0.47 of an inch in Palm Desert, 0.32 of an inch in Thousand Palms, 0.31 of an inch in Indio, 0.18 of an inch in Thermal and 0.04 of an inch in Cathedral City.

High temperatures recorded in Riverside County Friday included 59 degrees in Riverside, 46 in Banning, 45 in Hemet, 44 in Temecula and 30 in Idyllwild.