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Flash flood warnings issued for parts of Coachella Valley from nearby thunderstorms

The Desert Sun (Palm Springs) logo The Desert Sun (Palm Springs) 9/1/2021 Andrew L. John, Palm Springs Desert Sun
a group of clouds in the sky: A large cloud of dust and wind moves through the Coachella Valley near the windmills in Palm Springs and Interstate 10. The front was moving east to west Tuesday, August 31, 2021. © Jay Calderon/The Desert Sun A large cloud of dust and wind moves through the Coachella Valley near the windmills in Palm Springs and Interstate 10. The front was moving east to west Tuesday, August 31, 2021.

Three flash flood warnings were issued for parts of the eastern Coachella Valley and eastern Riverside County on Tuesday evening as thunderstorms moved into the area.

Among the areas affected are Coachella, Thermal, La Quinta and Box Canyon, where the National Weather Service said the warning would remain in effect until 8:45 p.m.

A second flash flood warning was in effect until 2 a.m., Wednesday for parts of eastern Riverside County for additional heavy rains. Areas affected included Chiriaco Summit, Desert Center, North Shore and Cottonwood Visitor Center.

The National Weather Service also issued a flash flood warning for areas around the Salton Sea until 11:15 p.m., Tuesday. Some areas impacted included Salton City, Desert Shores, Salton Sea Beach, El Centro, Brawley and Imperial.

a giraffe standing next to a palm tree: Trees blow in the wind across the College of the Desert driving range, Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021, in Palm Desert. © (Andy Abeyta/The Desert Sun) Trees blow in the wind across the College of the Desert driving range, Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021, in Palm Desert.

The flash flood warnings were issued for a portion of southwest California, including parts of the Coachella Valley and northwestern Imperial County. 

The NWS cautions those driving into flash flooding situations to turn around and do not stay in your vehicle if you get stuck. Most flood deaths occur in vehicles.

Imperial Irrigation District reported that 250 homes in Thermal had lost power Tuesday evening from the latest storms. Thunderstorms near the Salton Sea hit the area again Tuesday afternoon.

"A lot of people lost power," NWS meteorologist Mark Moede said, "and then today they got hit again."

a tree with a mountain in the dark clouds: The sun shines through a break in dark clouds as a storm moves into the area, Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021, in Palm Desert. © (Andy Abeyta/The Desert Sun) The sun shines through a break in dark clouds as a storm moves into the area, Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021, in Palm Desert.

Palm Springs International Airport has not reported any delays or canceled flights. Moede said visibility at the airport is about two miles. 

Moede added that the storm in that area is moving out of the area and should be done by this evening. Another thunderstorm, near the mountains off Dillon Road in Thousand Palms, could provide rain in Desert Hot Springs and perhaps even Palm Springs Tuesday evening, Moede said.

a group of palm trees on a cloudy day: Clouds and dust obscure a view of the mountains down East Tachevah Drive, Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021, in Palm Springs. © (Andy Abeyta/The Desert Sun) Clouds and dust obscure a view of the mountains down East Tachevah Drive, Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021, in Palm Springs.

Dark clouds filled the valley Tuesday afternoon as winds swirled and some thunderstorms developed in the mountains of San Bernardino and Riverside counties. The NWS warned that isolated thunderstorms could generate rainfall of 1 to 2 inches per hour.

Doppler radar indicated thunderstorms producing heavy rain across the warned area. Between 0.5 and 1.5 inches of rain have fallen, as of 6 p.m. Additional rainfall amounts of 0.5 to 1 inch are possible in the warned area. Flash flooding is ongoing or expected.

Moede said that sunshine and clear skies should return to the valley later this week.

"After tonight," Moede said, "It's going to get a lot quieter."

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This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: Flash flood warnings issued for parts of Coachella Valley from nearby thunderstorms

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