Soaking Rain, Feet of Snow to Sock California
By Story by AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Meghan Evans
April 04, 2010, 1:10:08 AM EDT
A strong storm heading toward the West Coast today will spread a soaking rain, paralyzing mountain snow, and highs winds into the region today and tonight. This storm will take aim at areas farther south than recent storms, allowing rain to sneak all the way southward into Southern California.
Travel disruptions both on the ground and in the air resulting from the stormy weather can interfere with people traveling home from their Easter destinations.
Rain will pour down over southwestern Oregon and northern California. Some communities could be deluged by around 2 inches of rain in this zone through tonight. Moderate to heavy rain will also spread through central California by this afternoon.
Motorists are urged to slow down and use caution in the rain.
Rain showers will arrive in Southern California tonight into Monday. While the rain will not be particularly heavy, a few locally heavy downpours could trigger minor flash flooding. Recently burned areas will have the greatest risk.
Meanwhile, snow will also become steadier in the Sierra and the Oregon Cascades by the afternoon and evening.
The heaviest snow will thump over the Sierra overnight as temperatures plummet into the 20s and teens. Some record lows are likely to fall as snow comes down at 2-3 inches an hour and perhaps even heavier in some areas.
One to two feet will pile up over the Sierra by Monday morning.
The cold air in place will allow snow to fall over elevations as low as 3,000 feet in the Sierra at night.
Gusty winds of up to 50 mph at night will contribute to blowing and drifting of snow. Near whiteout conditions will occur at times.
Travel along I-80 will become dangerous, and restrictions and closures may become necessary.
While the snow will not be as heavy over mountainous areas farther inland across the West, there will still be slippery travel through the mountain passes.
Be sure to check out other stories on AccuWeather.com that explore different aspects of the storm, including high winds that will elevate the fire risk and create concerns for blowing dust.
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