Wild Friday the 13th Weather for California

April 13, 2012; 7:50 PM ET
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Lightning hitting the Bay Bridge via @abc7newsBayArea

You thought weird stuff happening on Friday the 13th was just superstition! Well, the weather today over much of California will be unusually wild for the middle of April as a potent storm rolls in from the Pacific.

According to Western Weather Expert Ken Clark, the storm moving through into the first part of the weekend will not only bring drenching lowland rain and heavy snow to the mountains, but it will also bring nasty thunderstorms as well.

"The storm will bring all the ingredients for thunderstorms with strong winds, hail, waterspouts and even a few tornadoes over portions of central and Southern California today," Clark said.

Clark recently commented on AccuWeather.com that April is not usually a very stormy month for California, especially in the Southland.

The combination of cold air moving in aloft, combined with jet stream energy, will lead to especially strong thunderstorms which could knock down trees and power lines in some communities.

"The storm will dump up to a couple of feet of snow on the Sierra Nevada, south of Tahoe and a foot or so from there on north with snow levels dropping to as low as 3,500 feet," Clark said.

"Even in the mountains of Southern California snow levels will dip to between 3,500 and 4,000 feet later Friday. Over the ridges in the south upwards of a foot of snow is possible," he added.

People should expect slow travel over the passes due to the snow, slush and poor visibility. Localized flash and urban flooding problems are possible. Even over the deserts areas of blowing dust and strong wind will be a problem.

Delays are possible at area airports due to the wild nature of the storm with its wind, downpours and thunderstorms.

Impact from the storm system will be felt well inland. Gusty winds, spotty showers and thunderstorms can reach into the deserts, including around the Coachella Festival, where the storm will bring unusually cool conditions for a couple of days.

The same storm has the potential to bring a heavy blanket of snow to the mountains and foothills of Colorado, including the Denver metro area later in the weekend.

The storm is also likely to bring a major tornado outbreak over the Plains this weekend.

On a positive note, the storm will provide more beneficial moisture in the form of rain and snow to multiple areas of the West and eventually the Plains.

This story was originally published at 1:00 p.m. PDT Thursday, April 12, 2012.


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