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Fresh Storm Zaps West With Rain, Wind and Snow

UPDATED 7:15 AM PST, December 2, 2012

UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Chad Merrill

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Yet another powerful moisture-laden Pacific storm is dumping heavy rain and mountain snow across the West Coast and northern Rocky Front Range today. Not only will the flooding threat grow, but dangerous landslides and potentially destructive wind gusts will also batter the region.

California`s San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys, as well as the San Francisco Bay area have been at the epicenter of staggering rainfall accumulations since the middle of last week. Unfortunately, another punch of Pacific moisture will rush onto the West Coast, spelling more unwanted rain.

Rainfall tallies since Wednesday continue to climb. Alta, Calif., tops the list with 10.66 inches thus far, while an Earth Networks Live Tracking Station in Ross, Calif., has received 9.04 inches of rain.

A stagnant weather pattern has been at the helm for all of this repeated wet weather along the West Coast during the past week. Just like its predecessors, this storm is being shunted onto the West Coast by low pressure camped out along the British Columbia Coast.

One to 3 inches will be squeezed out from Seattle to San Francisco, with 3 to 8 inches pelting saturated soil along the western slopes of Mount Shasta, Calif., the northern and central Sierra Nevada Spine, and along the southwestern Oregon Coast.

Flood Watches, Flood Warnings, and Flood Advisories remain in place for southwestern Oregon, the northern California Coast, the Sierra, California`s San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys.

The succession of moist Pacific storms along with a lack of vegetation from this summer`s wildfires, as well as excessive runoff from snowmelt and clogged storm drains, will fuel a growing flash flood and life-threatening landslide threat.

All this Pacific moisture will be converted to snow for the highest passes of the Cascades, Washington`s Olympic Mountains, as well as from Idaho`s Sawtooth Mountains to western Wyoming`s Tetons. Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories are in place for all of these regions.

Snowfall accumulations of 1 to 2 feet are expected above 7,000 feet, with 6 to 12 inches above 5,000 feet and 5 to 10 inches likely as low as 3,000 feet.

Wind gusts have already been clocked in excess of 50 mph across parts of California this morning. Alta, Calif., had a peak gust to 72 mph, Redding, Calif., hit 66 mph while the San Francisco Airport saw a gust to 53 mph. These gusts will be common throughout the day and pose a challenge for travelers along Interstates 5, 15, 80, 84 and 90. Wind Advisories and High Wind Watches and Warnings remain in place from California`s San Joaquin Valley to northern Montana.

After a brief respite on Monday, another powerful Pacific disturbance will slide onto the West Coast by Tuesday.

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