Riverside County Braces for Heavy Rain, Wind as Hurricane Hilary Strengthens

City News Service

RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Riverside County was bracing Thursday for what is expected to be a significant surge of monsoonal and tropical moisture with widespread heavy rainfall thanks to Hurricane Hilary, which was gaining strength as it moves north off the coast of Baja California and could still pack a wallop when it reaches Southern California.

The brunt of the storm is anticipated in the county Sunday into Monday, with a high potential for flash flooding in the mountains and deserts.

The exact path of the storm remained in flux Thursday, with forecasters noting that even slight shifts in its track could dramatically impact rainfall totals.

“Regardless of the exact track and intensity of Hilary, which could continue to change in the coming days, it will bring a substantial surge in moisture into Southern California, with heavy rainfall and a high potential for flash flooding, especially for the mountains and deserts,” according to the National Weather Service.

Forecasters said mountains in Riverside and San Diego counties could see 4 to 8 inches of rain, possibly up to 10 inches on some eastern slopes, between Saturday and Monday. Lower desert areas could received 5 to 7 inches. Coastal areas are currently anticipated to get between and inch and an inch-and- a-half of rain, with valleys getting 1.5 to 2 inches.

NWS officials said flood watches could be issued as early as Thursday in anticipation of the heavy rains.

“In addition to the rainfall and flooding threat, another concern is the potential for strong east winds Sunday and Monday,” according to the NWS. “The wind threat will be more dependent on the track of Hilary. Should Hilary have a more westerly track, the wind threat would likely be greater, and if the track is more easterly, the threat would be less.

“The combination of heavy rainfall, the potential for flash flooding, and strong winds could very well make this a high-impact event for Southern California.”

Hilary is unlikely to still be packing hurricane strength by the time it reaches Southern California, but it could still be classified as a tropical storm. The NWS noted that the only time a tropical storm made landfall in California in the 20th Century was in September of 1939.

Copyright 2023, City News Service, Inc.

Suscribe Form Desktop


Submit your suggestions and questions

Nbc Palm Spring Logo

Download our App

Apple Store Logo

Play Store Logo