Pacific Storm Is Wrecking Travel Plans - Palm Springs News, Weather, Traffic, Breaking News

Pacific Storm Is Wrecking Travel Plans

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Palm Springs, CA -

A strong Pacific storm today prompted a handful of flight cancellations and delays at Palm Springs International Airport, mostly regarding arrivals and departures to and from San Francisco, joining numerous other cancellations at airports across Southern California.

Many of the cancellations regionally have come from Southwest Airlines flights, which Palm Springs Airport does not serve.

Five flights to and from San Francisco International Airport were canceled today, along with more than 20 delayed flights, also mostly departing and arriving in San Francisco, according to the flightstats.com website.

The Federal Aviation Administration said weather conditions are causing some arriving flights at San Francisco International Airport to be delayed by an average of more than three hours.

The Coachella Valley was expected to get a heavy dose of rainfall and wind starting tonight through Saturday. The National Weather Service issued a flash flood and high wind warning for the city of Riverside, the surrounding valleys, the Coachella Valley and the San Gorgonio Pass zone, including the cities of Banning and Desert Hot Springs.

Delays involving about 400 arriving flights at LAX and 200 departing flights were reported Friday by flightstats.com . Of those flights, three flights arriving at LAX from San Francisco were canceled and nine were delayed.

Four flights from LAX to San Francisco were canceled and 15 were delayed.

In Orange County, the storm forced cancellation of multiple flights at John Wayne Airport with American Airlines stopping all of its takeoffs and arrivals until 7:30 p.m.

Southwest Airlines has called a halt to most of today's flights, airport spokeswoman Deanne Thompson said.

Also, the winter storm will bring damaging winds and heavy snow to the San Bernardino and Riverside County mountains. This will be a significant wind storm. Heavy snow will be confined to locations above 6000 feet in elevation and strong winds are likely at all elevations. Winds will weaken Saturday morning but snow showers will continue all day Saturday and Saturday evening with periodic heavy snow showers down to 5500 feet.

San Bernardino County mountains and Riverside County mountains including the following locations: Crestline, Lake Arrowhead, Big Bear City, Big Bear Lake, Running Springs, Wrightwood, Idyllwild-Pine Cove. The winter storm warning remains in effect until 7 am pst Saturday.

  • Winds South 30 to 50 mph with gusts 70 to 90 mph at all elevations. Highest wind gusts likely to be found along the ridge tops and the deserts slopes. Strongest winds will occur this afternoon and evening.
  • Snow levels starting at 7000-8000 feet falling to between 6000 and 6500 feet this afternoon and evening. Then down to 5000 to 5500 feet Saturday morning.
  • Timing snow becoming heavy in the higher mountains this afternoon and continuing this evening. Continued snow showers Saturday and Saturday night at lower elevations down to 5000 to 5500 feet.
  • Snow accumulations 6 to 12 inches between 6000 and 7000 foot elevation. 1 to 2 feet 7000 to 8000 feet. Isolated snowfall 2 to 3 feet above 8000 feet.
  • Visibility reduced to a quarter mile or less due to snow blowing snow and dense fog.
  • Impacts hazardous driving conditions due to strong winds and snow covered roads and low visibility from blowing snow and dense fog. Chain restrictions likely. Downed trees and powerlines expected with possible structural damage. Dangerous driving conditions for high profile vehicles due to strong cross-winds.

A winter storm warning for heavy snow means severe winter weather conditions are expected or occurring. Significant amounts of snow are forecast that will make travel dangerous. Only travel in an emergency.  If you must travel keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.

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