THOUSAND PALMS, Cali. -

 A powerful Pacific storm brought moderate to heavy rain, strong winds, snow and a possibility of thunderstorms to Riverside County today.
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   The National Weather Service said the inclement weather will continue into much of the weekend, though the heaviest rainfall is expected this morning into this afternoon, with rainfall rates in excess of one inch an hour possible today.

   A flash flood watch is in effect through Saturday afternoon for the Riverside metropolitan area and local mountain areas, though the Coachella Valley could also see flooding due to last year's massive Mountain Fire.

   ``The Mountain Fire in the San Jacinto Mountains is also a threat for debris flows down the eastern slopes of the mountains into a portion of Palm Springs,'' the NWS said.

   A winter storm warning for mountain areas above 7,000 feet is scheduled from 4 p.m. today to 2 a.m. Sunday. In issuing the warning, the weather service said 6 to 12 inches of snow accumulation is likely above 7,000 feet, with local amounts up to 3 feet above 8,500 feet.

   ``Significant amounts of snow are forecast that will make travel dangerous,'' the NWS advisory said. ``Only travel in an emergency. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.''

   The agency also advised motorists in the mountains to carry chains and extra clothing.

   Higher elevations, along with the Coachella Valley, also are expected to see sustained south to southwest winds of 25 to 40 miles per hour and widespread gusts up to 65 mph. Isolated gusts up to 75 mph in the most wind-prone areas are also likely, according to the weather service.

   A high wind warning for the mountains and the Coachella Valley took
effect at 1 a.m. and is expected to last until 1 a.m. Saturday.

 A slightly less serious wind advisory is scheduled in the Riverside metropolitan area from 4 a.m. today to 10 a.m. Friday. According to the weather service, the Inland Empire will likely see sustained south to southwest winds of 20 to 30 mph and gusts up to 45 mph.

The complete text from the watches and warnings has been copied below.

High Wind Warning
URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN DIEGO CA
332 AM PST FRI FEB 28 2014

...STRONG AND GUSTY SOUTHWEST WINDS THROUGH LATE TONIGHT...

.A STRONG PACIFIC STORM SYSTEM OFF THE CALIFORNIA COAST WILL MOVE
SLOWLY INLAND THROUGH THE WEEKEND BRING PERIODS OF STRONG GUSTY
WINDS. WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO BE STRONGEST THROUGH EARLY THIS
EVENING WITH LOCALLY STRONG GUSTY WINDS CONTINUING THROUGH LATE
TONIGHT FOR THE MOUNTAINS AND DESERTS. POTENTIALLY DAMAGING WIND
GUSTS ARE POSSIBLE IN THE MOUNTAINS AND DESERTS TODAY.

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY MOUNTAINS-RIVERSIDE COUNTY MOUNTAINS-
SAN DIEGO COUNTY MOUNTAINS-APPLE AND LUCERNE VALLEYS-
COACHELLA VALLEY-SAN DIEGO COUNTY DESERTS-
332 AM PST FRI FEB 28 2014

...HIGH WIND WARNING NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 AM PST SATURDAY...

THE HIGH WIND WARNING IS NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 AM PST SATURDAY.

* WINDS...AREAS OF SOUTH TO SOUTHWEST WINDS 25 TO 35 MPH WITH
  GUSTS TO 60 MPH. ISOLATED GUSTS TO 75 MPH POSSIBLE.

* TIMING...STRONGEST AND MOST WIDESPREAD THROUGH EARLY THIS EVENING.

* LOCATION...NEAR RIDGE TOPS...ALONG DESERT MOUNTAIN SLOPES INTO
  ADJACENT DESERT AREAS.

* IMPACTS...GUSTY WINDS WILL MAKE DRIVING DIFFICULT...
  ESPECIALLY FOR MOTORISTS WITH HIGH PROFILE VEHICLES. WATCH
  FOR BROKEN TREE LIMBS AND OTHER DEBRIS.

* OUTLOOK...LOCALLY GUSTY SOUTHWEST TO WEST WINDS WILL CONTINUE ON
  SATURDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHT.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A HIGH WIND WARNING MEANS A HAZARDOUS HIGH WIND EVENT IS EXPECTED
OR OCCURRING. SUSTAINED WIND SPEEDS OF AT LEAST 40 MPH OR GUSTS
OF 58 MPH OR MORE CAN LEAD TO PROPERTY DAMAGE.

Winter Storm Warning
URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN DIEGO CA
348 AM PST FRI FEB 28 2014

...WINTER STORM WARNING FOR THE MOUNTAINS OF SAN BERNARDINO AND
RIVERSIDE COUNTIES ABOVE 6500 FEET THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON...

...WINTER STORM WARNING FOR THE MOUNTAINS OF SAN BERNARDINO AND
RIVERSIDE COUNTIES ABOVE 6000 FEET FOR THIS EVENING THROUGH LATE
SATURDAY NIGHT...

.A STRONG PACIFIC LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM OFF THE CALIFORNIA COAST WILL
MOVE SLOWLY INLAND THROUGH THE WEEKEND BRING PERIODS OF HEAVY
SNOWFALL AND STRONG GUSTY WINDS TO THE MOUNTAINS. SNOW LEVELS WILL
LOWER FROM 6500 TO 7000 FEET THIS MORNING...TO 6000 TO 6500 FEET
THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH SATURDAY MORNING...AND 5000 TO 5500 FEET
FOR SATURDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH SUNDAY.

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY MOUNTAINS-RIVERSIDE COUNTY MOUNTAINS-
INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS...ANGELUS OAKS...BALDWIN LAKE...
BARTON FLATS...BIG BEAR CITY...BIG BEAR LAKE...FAWNSKIN...
FOREST FALLS...RUNNING SPRINGS...WRIGHTWOOD...PINE COVE
348 AM PST FRI FEB 28 2014

...WINTER STORM WARNING NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 3 AM PST SUNDAY ABOVE
6500 FEET...

THE WINTER STORM WARNING ABOVE 6500 FEET IS NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL
3 AM PST SUNDAY.

* ELEVATION FOR THE WARNING...ABOVE 6500 FEET THROUGH THIS
  AFTERNOON...AND ABOVE 6000 FEET FOR TONIGHT THROUGH LATE
  SATURDAY NIGHT.

* SNOW LEVELS...SNOW LEVELS WILL LOWER FROM 6500 TO 7000 FEET THIS
  MORNING...TO 6000 TO 6500 FEET THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH SATURDAY
  MORNING...AND 5000 TO 5500 FEET FOR SATURDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH
  SUNDAY.

* SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...10 TO 20 INCHES ABOVE 6500 FEET WITH LOCAL
  AMOUNTS EXCEEDING 4 FEET POSSIBLE ABOVE 7500 TO 8000 FEET.

* TIMING...WIDESPREAD HEAVY SNOWFALL IS POSSIBLE ABOVE 7000 FEET
  TODAY. SHOWERS AND ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS WILL BRING PERIODS OF
  LOCALLY HEAVY SNOWFALL FOR TONIGHT THROUGH LATE SATURDAY NIGHT.

* LOCATIONS INCLUDE: PINE COVE...ANGELUS OAKS...BALDWIN LAKE...
  BARTON FLATS...BIG BEAR CITY...BIG BEAR LAKE...FAWNSKIN...
  FOREST FALLS...RUNNING SPRINGS...WRIGHTWOOD

* WINDS THROUGH LATE TONIGHT...SOUTH TO SOUTHWEST 25 TO 35 MPH
  WITH GUSTS TO 55 MPH. ISOLATED GUSTS TO 70 MPH NEAR MOUNTAIN
  RIDGE TOPS THROUGH EARLY THIS EVENING.

* VISIBILITY...NEAR ZERO AT TIMES IN HEAVY SNOW...BLOWING
  SNOW...AND DENSE FOG.

* IMPACTS...RESIDENTS AND TRAVELERS INTO HIGHER ELEVATIONS OF
  THE MOUNTAINS SHOULD BE PREPARED FOR WINTER WEATHER
  CONDITIONS AND POSSIBLE ROAD CLOSURES. CARRY CHAINS AND TAKE
  EXTRA FOOD AND CLOTHING.

* OUTLOOK...SHOWERS WILL GRADUALLY TAPER OFF ON SUNDAY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER
CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING.  SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF
SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN
AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL...KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT...
FOOD...AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.

Flash Flood Watch
FLOOD WATCH
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN DIEGO CA
404 AM PST FRI FEB 28 2014

...WIDESPREAD HEAVY RAINFALL TODAY FOR THE COAST...VALLEYS...AND
MOUNTAINS BELOW 6500 FEET...

...LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL FOR TONIGHT THROUGH LATE SATURDAY NIGHT
FOR THE COAST...VALLEYS...AND MOUNTAINS BELOW 6000 FEET.

.A STRONG PACIFIC LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM OFF THE CALIFORNIA COAST WILL
MOVE SLOWLY INLAND THROUGH SUNDAY BRINGING PERIODS OF LOCALLY
HEAVY RAINFALL. RAINFALL TOTALS THROUGH SUNDAY ARE EXPECTED TO RANGE
FROM 2 TO 3 INCHES NEAR THE COAST TO 5 TO 8 INCHES ON THE COASTAL
MOUNTAIN SLOPES WITH LOCALLY GREATER AMOUNTS ON THE SOUTH SLOPES
OF THE SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY MOUNTAINS.

THE WIDESPREAD AND HEAVY PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS AND RAINFALL RATES
TODAY COULD BE SUFFICIENT TO CAUSE FLASH FLOODING...ESPECIALLY ON
COASTAL MOUNTAIN SLOPES AND NEAR AND DOWNSTREAM OF RECENT BURN
AREAS. HIGH INTENSITY RAINFALL FROM SHOWERS AND ISOLATED
THUNDERSTORMS ON TOP OF NEWLY SATURATED SOIL WILL CONTINUE THE FLASH
FLOODING THREAT FOR TONIGHT THROUGH LATE SATURDAY NIGHT.

ORANGE COUNTY COASTAL AREAS-SAN DIEGO COUNTY COASTAL AREAS-
SAN BERNARDINO AND RIVERSIDE COUNTY VALLEYS-THE INLAND EMPIRE-
SAN DIEGO COUNTY VALLEYS-SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY MOUNTAINS-
RIVERSIDE COUNTY MOUNTAINS-SANTA ANA MOUNTAINS AND FOOTHILLS-
SAN DIEGO COUNTY MOUNTAINS-
404 AM PST FRI FEB 28 2014

...FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM 6 AM PST THIS MORNING THROUGH
LATE SATURDAY NIGHT BELOW 6500 FEET...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SAN DIEGO HAS ISSUED A

* FLASH FLOOD WATCH FOR A PORTION OF SOUTHWEST CALIFORNIA...
  INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING AREAS...ORANGE COUNTY COASTAL AREAS...
  RIVERSIDE COUNTY MOUNTAINS...SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY MOUNTAINS...
   SAN BERNARDINO AND RIVERSIDE COUNTY VALLEYS-THE INLAND
  EMPIRE...SAN DIEGO COUNTY COASTAL AREAS...SAN DIEGO COUNTY
  MOUNTAINS...SAN DIEGO COUNTY VALLEYS AND SANTA ANA MOUNTAINS
  AND FOOTHILLS.

* FROM 6 AM PST THIS MORNING THROUGH LATE SATURDAY NIGHT

* WIDESPREAD MODERATE TO HEAVY RAINFALL TODAY WILL INCREASE THE
  POSSIBILITY FOR FLASH FLOODING...ESPECIALLY ON COASTAL MOUNTAIN
  SLOPES...NEAR AND DOWNSTREAM OF RECENT BURN AREAS...AND IN LOW
  LYING AREAS WITH POOR DRAINAGE.

* FOR TONIGHT THROUGH LATE SATURDAY NIGHT...HIGH INTENSITY
  RAINFALL FROM SHOWERS AND ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS ON TOP OF NEWLY
  SATURATED SOIL WILL CONTINUE THE FLASH FLOODING THREAT.

* RECENTLY BURNED AREAS FROM WILDFIRES ARE AT GREATER RISK FOR
  DEBRIS FLOWS IN AND BELOW BURNED SLOPES.

* PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...THERE IS A THREAT OF DEBRIS
  FLOWS...ESPECIALLY IN AND BELOW BURNED AREAS. ALL RESIDENTS
  LIVING ON OR NEAR HILLSIDES OR MOUNTAIN SLOPES SHOULD BE
  PREPARED FOR POSSIBLE DEBRIS FLOWS. DEBRIS FLOWS MAY OCCUR AT
  ANY TIME...EVEN DURING PERIODS WITH LITTLE OR NO RAIN FALLING.

&&

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS MAY DEVELOP THAT LEAD
TO FLASH FLOODING. FLASH FLOODING IS A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION.

YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION
SHOULD FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS BE ISSUED.