A cold Pacific storm is bringing winter weather to Riverside County today, prompting forecasters to urge motorists to be wary of slippery roads and limited visibility.
Due to snow and gusty winds, the National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for the mountains -- including Idyllwild, Pine Cove and Vista Grande -- from 4 this morning to 4 p.m.
The Weather Service said there was a slight chance today of thunderstorms capable of producing brief periods of heavy rain and small hail.
Rainfall totals from the storm were expected to be between a half-inch and a quarter-inch in valley areas, and up to two inches in the mountains. A quarter-inch or less was expected in the Coachella Valley.
"Most of the snow will occur late (Wednesday) through Thursday evening, as the cold front moves through the area," according to an NWS advisory.
The agency said snow levels were initially around 6,500 to 7,500 feet Wednesday evening and would gradually fall to between 4,000 and 4,500 feet late today. Total snowfall from the storm was expected to be around two to six inches.
Sustained west-to-southwest winds of 10 to 15 miles per hour, with gusts up to 30 mph, also were expected in the mountains early today.
"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."
Some lingering light snow showers could continue into late Friday morning and there was potential for additional light snow Friday night and Sunday due to some disturbances that may move through the area, according to the Weather Service.