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Morongo Basin Braces for Heavy Rain and Flooding Threat as Tropical Storm Hilary Nears

Morongo Basin Braces for Heavy Rain and Flooding Threat as Tropical Storm Hilary Nears

Anticipated Heavy Rain and Potential Flooding Forecasted for Morongo Basin Amid Tropical Storm Hilary’s Inland Progress

The Morongo Basin region is bracing for substantial precipitation and the risk of flooding as Tropical Storm Hilary makes its way inland. Over the next few days, certain areas of the desert could witness a volume of rainfall equivalent to an entire year’s worth.

According to the most recent projections provided by the National Weather Prediction Center, there is a minimum 40% probability of intense rainfall causing the potential for flash floods within the Basin from Saturday through Monday. In preparation for the arrival of Tropical Storm Hilary, sections susceptible to severe flooding within Joshua Tree National Park will be closed off on Friday evening.

Commencing on Saturday morning and extending until Monday afternoon, a flash flood watch will be in effect for the Basin as well as other portions of the Mojave Desert.

Meteorological forecasts from the National Weather Service indicate that Southern California, including the Mojave Desert, could experience rainfall ranging between 5 to 7 inches in the upcoming six days.

The storm’s rainfall won’t be continuous, but rather, it will manifest in multiple rounds varying from light to heavy, starting Saturday and persisting through at least Monday, as outlined by the NWS. There won’t be much time for the precipitation to be absorbed between these rounds, leading to instances of gradual accumulation of flood conditions in certain areas, and abrupt flash floods in dry creeks, washes, and low-lying zones at other times.

On Sunday night and Monday morning, gusty winds are expected to sweep into the desert. The NWS has issued a warning regarding the potential for trees to be uprooted due to the saturation of soil caused by the rain.

Local residents are urged by weather officials to stay updated on weather conditions before embarking on travel and to have an emergency kit ready.

Within Joshua Tree National Park, driving along Geology Tour Road is discouraged. Park rangers advise individuals to reconsider outdoor activities over the weekend, to be prepared to alter their plans if they encounter water on roadways, and to remain vigilant for lightning.

The town of Yucca Valley has issued a news release, advising residents to exercise caution and avoid non-essential travel. The release informs that the town’s street department is primed to address emergencies, but it cautions motorists about hazardous conditions including wet and flooded roads.

“Depending on the severity of the storm, accessibility to certain local roads may be restricted,” the news release states.

The town’s priority will be to clear primary roads in terms of resource allocation.

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