A cold storm is set to move into the Inland Empire late Sunday, and should bring colder temperatures, gusty wind, rain and snow to some areas Monday, the National Weather Service forecast today.
The storm may bring 2 to 5 inches of snow Monday to mountain areas at altitudes as low as 2,500 feet, such as Angelus Oaks, Idyllwild and Anza, according to the NWS. Forecasters hedged their bets, but said accumulations of between 8 and 12 inches were possible on mountaintops by Monday night.
Strong and potentially damaging winds are expected in deserts and mountain areas as well, the NWS said. Gusts of up to 75 miles per hour could be possible over mountain ridges through Monday night.
The combination of strong winds with dangerously low wind chills, cold weather and possible snow could pose a hazard for hikers and campers in mountain areas, the NWS said.
Travel through mountain passes could become dangerous as wind speeds increase, temperatures fall below freezing and roads become slippery, the NWS said.
Visibility could be occasionally reduced to near zero in falling and blowing snow, the NWS said.
The NWS issued a winter storm watch for Riverside County back country areas above 4,000 feet, which will go into effect late Sunday.
A winter storm watch means there is potential for significant snow, sleet or ice accumulations that may impact travel.