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Winter weather advisory issued for mountains, motorists urged to be wary of slippery roads


Tuesday, December 11th, 2012
Issue 50, Volume 16.


RIVERSIDE - A cold Pacific storm brought winter weather to Riverside County today, prompting forecasters to urge motorists to be wary of slippery roads and limited visibility.

Due to snow and gusty winds, the National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for the mountains -- including Idyllwild, Pine Cove and Vista Grande -- from 4 this morning to 4 p.m.

The Weather Service said there was a slight chance today of thunderstorms capable of producing brief periods of heavy rain and small hail.

Rainfall totals from the storm were expected to be between a half-inch and a quarter-inch in valley areas, and up to two inches in the mountains. A quarter-inch or less was expected in the Coachella Valley.

"Most of the snow will occur late (Wednesday) through Thursday evening, as the cold front moves through the area," according to an NWS advisory.

The agency said snow levels were initially around 6,500 to 7,500 feet Wednesday evening and would gradually fall to between 4,000 and 4,500 feet late today. Total snowfall from the storm was expected to be around two to six inches.

Sustained west-to-southwest winds of 10 to 15 miles per hour, with gusts up to 30 mph, also were expected in the mountains early today.

"Travelers through the mountains should be prepared for hazardous winter weather conditions," forecasters said. "Motorists are urged to check the latest road reports before departing. Always carry chains and take extra food and clothing if you must travel into the mountains."

Some lingering light snow showers could continue into late Friday morning and there was potential for additional light snow Friday night and Sunday due to some disturbances that may move through the area, according to the Weather Service.


Cold low pressure system from Gulf of Alaska late Wednesday through Thursday

RIVERSIDE - A cold Pacific storm is expected to bring moderate rainfall and snow to Riverside County from late today through Thursday.

The National Weather Service said that the storm will dig south along the California coast today before moving inland across Southern California Thursday.

Valley areas should see between a half-inch and three-quarters of an inch of rain from the storm, while higher elevations are expected to be blanketed by several inches of snow.

"Although some light snow showers may linger over the mountains through early Friday morning, the majority of snow will occur (this evening) through Thursday evening, as the cold front moves through the area," according to an NWS advisory.

A winter weather advisory is scheduled from 10 tonight to 4 p.m. Thursday for mountain areas, including Idyllwild, Pine Cove and Vista Grande. According to the Weather Service, the snow level should drop to 5,000 feet by early Thursday, then down to 4,000 feet by Thursday evening.

Four to eight inches of snow accumulation is expected above 6,000 feet, two to four inches between 5,000 and 6,000 feet, and an inch is expected at 4,000 feet.

The mountains will also be subject Advertisement
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to sustained west to southwest winds of 15 to 25 miles per hour, with gusts up to 40 mph. Winds should decrease slightly by Thursday afternoon, according to an NWS advisory.

"Travelers through the mountains should be prepared for hazardous winter weather conditions," forecasters said. "Motorists are urged to check the latest road reports before departing. Always carry chains and take extra food and clothing if you must travel into the mountains."

Fairer weather is expected for Friday, though some lingering light snow showers are possible in the mountains through Friday morning, according to the Weather Service. Then, "there is the potential for some additional light snow Friday night and Sunday due to some disturbances that may move through the area," according to an NWS advisory.


SAN DIEGO COUNTY VALLEYS-SAN DIEGO COUNTY MOUNTAINS-SAN DIEGO COUNTY COASTAL AREAS-RIVERSIDE COUNTY MOUNTAINS-SAN BERNARDINO AND RIVERSIDE COUNTY VALLEYS-THE INLAND EMPIRE-SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY MOUNTAINS-SANTA ANA MOUNTAINS AND FOOTHILLS-APPLE AND LUCERNE VALLEYS-COACHELLA VALLEY-SAN DIEGO COUNTY DESERTS-ORANGE COUNTY COASTAL AREAS-

A cold low pressure system from the Gulf of Alaska is expected to move through southwest California late Wednesday through late Thursday. This system will bring widespread rain...mountain snow...and gusty onshore winds in the mountains and deserts. The brunt of the precipitation is expected Wednesday night into Thursday morning. Very cold air aloft may cause isolated thunderstorms to form during the day Thursday. Light showers may linger into Friday, mainly over and west of the mountains.

Rainfall: moderate amounts along and west of the mountains with totals ranging from one-half to three-quarters of an inch in the coastal and valley locations to three-quarters to one and a half inches on the coastal mountain slopes with locally greater amounts. Amounts in the deserts generally be one-quarter inch or less.

Snowfall: snow levels will fall to around 5000 to 5500 ft during the day Thursday...down to 4000 to 4500 feet Thursday night with several inches of snowfall possible above 5000 feet. A few flurries are possible in the high deserts Thursday night, though no accumulation is expected.

Thunderstorms: isolated thunderstorms possible Thursday. Thunderstorms may produce small hail, gusty winds, brief heavy rain and dangerous cloud-to-ground lightning.

Winds: south winds 15 to 25 mph with local gusts to 45 mph on the ridgetops and desert slopes of the san Bernardino mountains on Wednesday. Winds will weaken and becoming southwest-to west 10 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph in the mountains and deserts Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

Temperatures: high temperatures Thursday 10 to 15 degrees below seasonal averages.

Impacts: slick roads and reduced visibility due to rain and snow will make travel hazardous. In addition, snow may impact travel through the Cajon pass Thursday night. If traveling through the mountains, carry chains and extra clothing, food, and water. Rain may cause minor flooding of roadways, low lying intersections, and other poorly drained areas.

Outlook: additional weaker systems may bring periods of light rain and mountain snow late Friday into Saturday and again on Sunday into Monday morning.


 

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