More Record-Shattering Rain in Store for California

December 20, 2010; 11:55 AM
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Play video Heavy rain continues to douse much of the state of California. Mary Yoon talks with West Coast Expert Ken Clark.

Torrential rain soaked the West Coast over the weekend, and little will change for Californians today.

The heaviest rain today will take aim at Southern California. Later today into tonight, the steady, soaking rain will reach inland through southern Utah.

This weekend's rainfall will go down in the record books for several locations in the Golden State.

On Sunday alone, Bishop, Calif., was inundated by 3.33 inches of rain, becoming the wettest December day ever recorded at that location, besting the record of 2.67 inches from Dec. 22, 1982. On top of smashing records, the past two-days worth of rain in Bishop is also equivalent to 62 percent of the average rainfall that the town typically can expect in an entire year.

Los Angeles was drenched by more than 4 inches of rain in the past few days, which is double the amount of rain that the city typically receives in the entire month of December. The storm-soaked city will not get a break from the action, with another 2 to 4 inches of rain possible in the area through tonight.

Those heading back to work today in Southern California will face slow commutes. The rain combined with spray from other vehicles will significantly reduce visibility, while water ponding on roadways will increase the risk of hydroplaning at highway speeds.

Flood waters and debris swept over numerous roads in California on Sunday. With copious amounts of rain expected again today, the threat of flash flooding will persist.

Mudslides will be another danger in the water-logged region, with recent wildfire burn areas especially susceptible to giving way. CNN reports that a minor mudslide in Placer County closed a lane of Interstate 80 on Sunday.

Travel nightmares could also unfold at several of the major West Coast airports, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Las Vegas. Flight delays and cancellations will be possible through tonight as the rain pours down.

Meanwhile, mountain snow will continue to pile up in the Sierra Nevada, with another foot or two likely in spots through tonight. As the storm reaches across the Intermountain West, the snow will also expand into the central Rockies, where several inches of snow can be expected.

More storms are in line to strike the Southwest in the coming days, allowing the stormy weather to persist for much of the week.


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