The next storm is intensifying off the coast this evening and headed southeast toward California. Another period of rain is headed our way tonight, with the possibility of strong winds at times. A strong cold front will pass through late tonight, with winds shifting to the west, and colder temps arriving thereafter. High temps may not leave the upper 50's the next several days, with low temps in the 30's and low 40's. More details below:
TONIGHT AND SATURDAY
A strong cold front will move east tonight. Steadier rainfall appears likely to start somewhere around 12 midnight - 2 am here in the deserts, likely lasting until around sunrise Saturday. For the rest of Saturday, scattered showers are likely, especially closer to the mountainous areas on the west side and north side of the Coachella Valley, as well as into the Yucca Valley area. Winds will likely begin to increase later tonight as well, possibly concentrated in some of the southern foothills, as well as along the I-10 corridor.
Unlike the storm that hit yesterday, this storm will not linger over our area, and rainfall for the deserts is now expected to be less than what was experienced yesterday. We expect 0.25 - 0.60 inches throughout most of the valley. Locally higher amounts are possible.
The mountains however, will likely experience 1-3 inches of heavy rain with this system. Snow levels will start around 7,000 feet early tonight, drop to around 4,000 feet by morning, then 3,000 feet by Saturday night. Snow amounts are tough to predict, but many areas at or above 7,000 feet will see 1 foot+ of snow, 6-12 inches for elevations between 5,000-7,000 feet (including Idyllwild), and perhaps 1-4 inches from 4,000-5,000 feet. A scattered dusting of snow is possible from 3,000-4,000 feet.
This means there is a possibility snow will affect many of the higher mountain passes in and out of the LA area, including:
- I-5 over the Grapevine
- I-15 over the Cajon Pass, and near Mountain Pass, south of Las Vegas
- Highways 18. 330, 38, 247 and 74 in the San Bernardino and Riverside County Mountains
Some areas of the high desert near Yucca Valley, as well as Apple Valley/Hesperia could see a dusting.
High winds are possible late tonight through Saturday night. Some computer models show winds of 30-40 mph, and others display the possibility of gusts over 60 mph once again. Due to the uncertainty, it's best to batten down the hatches and be sure patio furniture is secure and umbrellas are not open the next 36 hours. Extreme winds are POSSIBLE, but not 100% certain.
With excessive mountain rainfall, it is likely many area washes will continue to flow. Stay tuned to reports regarding possible road closures due to water along some roads, possibly including:
- Indian Canyon at the wash between I-10 and San Rafael
- Gene Autry Trail between I-10 and Vista Chino
- Vista Chino just east of Gene Autry Trail
- Cathedral Canyon Road north of Perez Road
Next week appears to be cool, with gradual warming by mid week. A possible storm will locate off the coast, but at this time looks to stay dry for us until possibly Thursday or Friday. This is a LOW CONFIDENCE long range forecast though, as even a shift in the system 100 miles could bring more rain toward the middle of next week.
Be safe out there tonight! For information on road condition, check out the Cal Trans website: http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/roadinfo/statemap.htm