Another blast of cold, wet winter weather has arrived in Riverside County, ushering in the possibly of some snow in the mountains, meteorologists said.
The rain began pounding Southwest Riverside County early Wednesday, causing several minor traffic accidents and followed several days of sunshine that helped resident dry out from a week of rain.
Today’s storm will be a follow-up to last week’s torrential rains and will arrive out of the northwest early this morning, according to the National Weather Service.
Rainfall totals from the blustery system, which will weaken by this afternoon before moving out of the region tonight, will range from as much as two-thirds of an inch in the valleys and near an inch on west-facing slopes, the Weather Service reported.
The mountains were expected to get 3-8 inches of snow above 6,000 feet; however, there also could be isolated amounts near a foot on the highest peaks.
Due to heavily saturated ground throughout the area, runoff will likely be immediate and fast-moving, possibly causing more of the types of flooding, mud-slide and debris-flow problems wreaked by prolonged downpours earlier this month, the NWS advised.
The storm also will likely generate 35-45 mph winds, with gusts around 65 mph, in the mountains. A high wind warning for the mountains is in effect until 4 a.m. Thursday.
Lesser winds of 20-30 mph, with gusts up to 40 mph, were expected in the valleys. A wind advisory for the valleys was scheduled to in effect from 10 a.m. to 4 a.m. Thursday.
On Thursday and Friday, temperatures in the county will likely drop 10 or 20 degrees below seasonal averages, causing widespread frost in low-lying communities.