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Storm Totals: December 25th-26th, 2019

By Reginald Stanley. Posted December 26, 2019, 9:42 PM.

A cold, major Pacific storm impacted the region late Christmas day and Thursday this week, bringing heavy rain and low snow levels. Travel through the mountain passes was seriously affected by the storm. Several major freeways and highways were closed through mountain passes due to heavy snow, however some have since reopened as of Thursday evening. Interstate 5 remains closed in both directions north of Los Angeles between Lake Hughes and Fort Tejon.

Intermittent showers followed the previous storm throughout Christmas Day. The brunt of the storm arrived late Wednesday night, beginning with heavy rain and further lowering of snow levels in the mountains. Periods of heavy rain continued through the night into Thursday morning across most of the region, as well as heavy snow in the mountains and high deserts. Snow levels had lowered to approximately 2,500 feet above sea level Thursday morning, as temperatures reached their lows. Snow was clearly visible on the eastern side of the Santa Ana Mountains from Interstate 15 Thursday, as well as Agua Tibia and Palomar Mountain southeast of Temecula. Even more snow blanketed the San Bernardino and San Jacinto mountain ranges to the north and east. Snow showers were still occurring in the mountains and high desert as of Thursday evening.

Precipitation totals varied between 0.70 inches in Beaumont (Cherry Valley) to 1.86 inches in Lake Elsinore. Lake Elsinore and Wildomar (1.82 inches) both benefited from rain overhang due to the Santa Ana Mountains for the second time in a row. Simi Valley to the northwest was the first station in the WeatherCurrents network to be hit by heavy rain late Wednesday, also netting an impressive 1.41 inches. Unlike the previous storm, most other locations were consistent Thursday with totals from 3/4 inch to 1.5 inches. On the lower end of storm totals included Hemet and San Jacinto, both with totals of 0.81 and 0.83 inches, respectively. In Temecula Valley's Wine Country, 0.86 inches was reported Wednesday-Thursday (courtesy of Jim Sappington), similar to nearby Temecula's total of 0.95 inches. Totals of 0.81 inches were reported in East Highland (courtesy of Peter Michas) as well as 0.85 inches in Yucaipa (courtesy of Don Kramer).

WeatherCurrents stations in Anza and Pinon Hills are both high in elevation, and were affected by heavy snow late Wednesday and Thursday. Precipitation amounts for those locations are not yet accurate due to slowly melting snow, occasional snow showers and freezing temperatures still present there. WeatherCurrents' station in Riverside (Orangecrest) was still experiencing rain gauge problems, and totals have been adjusted using data from nearby stations once again. Remaining storm activity was forecast to clear out of the region by Friday morning as weak high pressure builds, however another cold storm may be in the forecast early next week.

Here are the rain totals for the WeatherCurrents network and associates:

Location Storm Season Source
Lake Elsinore 1.86"  8.11"  WeatherCurrents
Wildomar 1.82"  8.25"  WeatherCurrents
Simi Valley 1.41"  6.89"  WeatherCurrents
De Luz 1.34"  7.48"  WeatherCurrents
Moreno Valley 1.30"  5.77"  WeatherCurrents
Riverside (Presidential Park) 1.21"  5.09"  WeatherCurrents
Central Murrieta 1.18"  5.64"  Reginald Stanley
Riverside (Orangecrest) 1.17"  4.88"  WeatherCurrents
Northwest Murrieta 1.17"  6.63"  WeatherCurrents
Perris 1.14"  6.17"  WeatherCurrents
South Fallbrook 1.12"  7.53"  WeatherCurrents
French Valley 1.09"  6.15"  WeatherCurrents
South Temecula 0.95"  6.32"  WeatherCurrents
Anza 0.92" 1 7.64"  WeatherCurrents
Temecula Valley Wine Country 0.86"  6.63"  Jim Sappington
Yucaipa 0.85"  N/A Don Kramer
San Jacinto 0.83"  4.49"  WeatherCurrents
East Highland 0.81"  6.87"  Peter Michas
East Hemet 0.81"  6.33"  WeatherCurrents
Beaumont (Cherry Valley) 0.70"  6.21"  WeatherCurrents
Pinon Hills 0.31" 1 4.54"  WeatherCurrents
  1. Storm totals for Anza and Pinon Hills are not currently accurate due to accumulated snow there.
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