RIVERSIDE (CNS) - Thunderstorms moved west into the Coachella Valley and San Gorgonio Pass today, triggering flash flood warnings from the National Weather Service in the noon hour.

``Copious amounts of rain'' were falling on Interstate 10 in North Palm Springs, a CHP officer said.

At 12:19 p.m., NWS meteorologists said radar showed a heavy thundercell in the San Jacinto Mountains, 8 miles west of Palm Springs. An automated rain gauge at Snow Creek, in the mountains south of Banning, had collected 1.97 inches of rainfall in two hours, with rain intensifying to above the half inch per half hour mark.

Debris flows were possible in fire-scarred hillsides in the Silver and Mountain fire burn scars, the NWS warned.

The flood warnings were for storms that developed before 11 a.m. and remained nearly stationary above the mountains flanking the pass, where Interstate 10 is the sole direct route between the Inland Empire and Coachella Valley. Northern parts of Palm Springs as well as the San Gorgonio Pass, Banning, Cabazon, Poppet Flats and the San Jacinto Peak area were predicted to be impacted by the storms. 

Posted by Amy King