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Cold Pacific storm expected to bring rain, snow

Published On: Dec 12 2012 08:34:45 AM CST
Palm Desert storm clouds

LOS ANGELES -

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 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.