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UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologists, Alexa Maines and Chad Merrill
As if California hasn’t seen their share of rain this winter, a fresh storm is bringing more flooding concerns. The mountains are continuing to pile up the snow….. in feet.
Flood Watches, Warnings and Advisories span from central California to southern coastal Oregon, as well as across portions of western Nevada, eastern Washington, and northern Idaho, including the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, and Lake Tahoe, Calif., Reno, Nev., Yakima, Wash., and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
Rainfall totals of 2 to 4 inches are anticipated, with a few spots in the Sierra Nevada foothills totaling as much as 5 to 6 inches. In addition, wind gusts of 40 to 60 mph are possible across the Bay Area, where High Wind Watches, Warnings, and Advisories are in effect. These winds, combined with the rain, could lead to falling trees and power outages.
Since the storm has no cold air to work with, snow levels will climb from around 5,000 feet to 7,500 feet. This means only the high Cascades and Sierra Nevada peaks will be in line for copious snow. Winter Weather Advisories and Winter Storm Warnings are in effect. The Sierra Nevada peaks could 3 to 5 feet possible above 7,500 feet, including the passes around Lake Tahoe. Northern California could see up to 2 feet of snow above 5,000 feet, while up to a foot is possible in the Cascades.
Winter Weather Advisories and Winter Storm Watches have already been issued across the northern Rockies in portions of Idaho, Wyoming, and Colorado, where up to 2 feet of snow could fall by Tuesday night as the storm pushes well inland.
There has already been impressive rain and snow totals since the storm began to sweep moisture inland Sunday evening. Mammoth Lakes has tallied another 16 inches of snow, Squall Valley, Calif., has seen 8 inches of new snow while the Mount Rose Ski area in Nevada has been dumped on with 16 inches of new accumulation.
Rain has been pelting northern California, with 6.82 inches in the rain gauge since Sunday evening at Fort Hunter Liggett, 1.68 inches for Crescent City and 1.11 inches in San Francisco. Meanwhile, wind gusts have reached 79 mph at Slate Creek, Calif., 68 mph for Kneeland, Calif., and 60 mph at the Jack McNamara Field Airport in California.
The storm will relinquish its grip on the West Coast by the middle of the week before yet another storm pushes inland just in time for the weekend.