RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Gusty winds are expected in the Riverside County mountains and the Coachella Valley today ahead of a storm system that will bring wet weather throughout Southern California from Wednesday morning through Friday.
The National Weather Service issued a high wind warning that will be in effect from 10 a.m. through 7 p.m. today in the Coachella Valley, the mountains and the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning.
Wind speeds will be between 35 and 50 mph — with gusts potentially reaching 75 mph — in the mountains and the San Gorgonio Pass, while winds between 20 and 30 mph, with gusts up to 55 mph, are expected in the Coachella Valley, forecasters said.
The NWS warned that driving conditions could be affected by blowing dust and the winds could be strong enough to damage trees and power lines. The rapid winds could create potentially hazardous driving conditions, especially for high-profile vehicles.
The winds are expected to die down by tonight, but meteorologists are tracking a storm system that will impact travel for the Thanksgiving holiday.
The storm system is expected to arrive from the north Wednesday morning and bring moderate to heavy rainfall from Wednesday evening through Thursday evening, NWS meteorologist Miguel Miller said. Significant snowfall is also expected by Thursday night in the Riverside County and San Bernardino County mountains.
Rainfall totals could reach 3 inches in the Riverside County mountains, 1.5 to 2 inches in the Inland Empire and less than two-thirds of an inch in the Coachella Valley through Friday, Miller said.
The NWS has already issued a flash flood watch for the Riverside metropolitan area from Wednesday evening through Thursday evening and a winter storm watch for the San Bernardino County mountains and the Riverside County mountains from late Tuesday night through Friday evening for locations above 3,000 feet.
Mount San Jacinto in Idyllwild could up to 2 feet of snow at its highest peaks by the time the storm system makes its exit by Saturday afternoon, Miller said.
Thunderstorms will also be possible Wednesday night through Friday morning in the Riverside County mountains, the Coachella Valley and the San Gorgonio Pass near Banning, forecasters said.
The storm system will continue moving to the east on Friday and should clear the region by Saturday night.
High temperatures today could reach 69 degrees in Riverside, 75 in the San Gorgonio Pass, 77 in the Coachella Valley, and 67 in Temecula and Hemet.