Rain Coming; Runoff From The Mountains Could Be Worse For The Desert Than Actual Rainfall

Hydrologic Outlook

National Weather Service San Diego CA

942 PM PDT Mon Mar 13 2023


Coachella Valley-San Gorgonio Pass Near Banning-Including the cities of Indio, Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Palm Desert, Palm Desert Country, La Quinta, and Coachella


Rain is forecast to develop over the San Bernardino Mountains and northern portions of the Coachella Valley late Tuesday morning

and become heavy Tuesday night through Wednesday morning.


Warm temperatures  will allow most of the precipitation to fall as rain.  Only very high elevations will get snow.

In addition to rain, snowmelt will continue and run off into the Whitewater River wash.

Rainfall of 2 to 5 inches is likely on the mountain slopes by Thursday…with 1 to 2 inches possible in the lower elevations, including in the San Gorgonio Pass.


As runoff accelerates off the San Bernardino Mountains…significant flows will develop in the Whitewater River.


These flows are forecast to reach Palm Springs midday Wednesday…and flow southward through the Coachella Valley to Indio and beyond during Wednesday afternoon. The flow will impact low-water crossings and may create dangerous swiftwater areas through the valley.


The rain will diminish Wednesday evening…but some flow will likely continue in the canal through Thursday.

Residents should be prepared for road closures and listen for later advisories.



Transparent umbrella on rainy day.

Photo from Alpha Media Portland OR