Record-Setting Rain Departs California

By Brian Lada, Meteorologist
March 2, 2014; 5:25 AM ET
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Rain has finally begun to depart California following record-setting rainfall to close out the final days of February and bring in the new month of March.

This rain was caused by a potent storm that delivered a large amount of moisture to the state for Friday and Saturday, hitting much harder than the storm that moved through around Wednesday of last week.

Although this storm brought beneficial rain to help alleviate some of the extreme drought gripping the Golden State, it did bring some dangers with it. Heavy rain and damaging winds accompanied the storm, leading to property damages, flash floods and even mudslides.

This forced the closure of hundreds of roads across the state, many of which are located in Southern California.

A few funnel clouds were reported with some of the stronger thunderstorms, but there were no confirmed reports of a tornado or waterspout.

A front-end loader clears mud and debris that had blocked a road along a hillside in Glendora, Calif., Friday, Feb. 28, 2014. The first wave of a powerful Pacific storm spread rain and snow early Friday through much of California, where communities endangered by a wildfire just weeks ago now faced the threat of mud and debris flows. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

Mandatory evacuations began on Thursday when the Glendora Police Department ordered evacuations in the Colby Fire Impact Area in Glendora, Calif., due to a high probability of debris and mudflow.

During a press release by the Glendora Police Department on Friday, they stated that boulders as large as Volkswagens were flowing through the East Fork River. This river is located in the mountains northeast of Los Angeles.

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The highest rainfall totals from Friday and Saturday were to be found in the foothills with over half a foot of rain being recorded in some locations.

Some of the highest amounts include the Santa Rosa Plateau with 6 inches, the Upper Silverado Canyon with 7.05 inches, Santiago Peak with 8.01 inches and Yucaipa Ridge with 8.62 inches.

Large amounts of snow also fell across the mountains, particularly in central parts of California. This included 18 inches near Soda Springs, 30 inches at Donner Peak and a whopping 40 inches at the Kirkwood Ski Area.

Only a few showers will linger around through Sunday, allowing for residents to begin cleanup from flooding and mudslides.

For the first time since December 2010, Downtown Los Angeles had two consecutive days with over an inch of rain, measuring 1.05 inches on Thursday and 2.25 inches on Friday.

This rain also brought San Francisco's year to date rainfall amount to 3.91 inches. Although this is only 47 percent of what the city typically sees through March 1, it was already more than the city received throughout the entire calendar year of 2013.

Not only did this storm deliver much-needed rain to California, but also across other parts of the Southwest experiencing drought conditions.

This included the Phoenix, Ariz., which received its first rainfall of the year on Saturday with just shy of an inch of rain.

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