Snow showers and fierce winds are expected in the mountain areas of Riverside County today, along with high winds in the Coachella Valley and light to moderate rainfall throughout the Inland Empire.
"A cold upper level low and a strong surface cold front will bring strong winds and snow showers (today) as it moves quickly across the region," according to the National Weather Service.
"Snow levels will lower rapidly to around 3,000 feet during the day, and continue lowering (tonight). Winds will gust over 60 miles per hour over parts of the mountains. Snow squalls may briefly reduce visibilities to near zero at times."
The NWS scheduled a winter storm warning for the mountains above 3,000 feet from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and a high wind warning for the Coachella Valley from 6 a.m. today to 3 a.m. Friday.
During the storm warning, up to 4 inches of snow is expected to accumulate above 4,000 feet. Local areas affected by the storm warning include Anza, Garner Valley, Idyllwild, Mountain Center, Pine Cove and Pinyon Pines.
Powder may fall in the local foothills in Southwest Riverside County as the snow level is expected to drop to the 2,000-foot level.
Also expected in the mountains today are sustained west winds of 20 to 30 miles per hour, with gusts of up to 50 mph. Similar wind speeds are expected in the Coachella Valley today, especially east of San Gorgonio Pass.
In addition to the high wind warning for the Coachella Valley today, a less serious wind advisory is scheduled for other parts of the county from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sustained winds in the Inland Empire are expected to be 15 to 20 mph, with gusts up to 45 mph.
Expect cold weather and rain throughout Southwest Riverside County as a result of the storm. Temperatures are expected to dip below freezing overnight through the weekend, and daytime highs will only reach the low- to mid-50s, the NWS reported.