Jan 9 Forecasters expect another half foot of
rain to soak central and northern California and the Sierra
Nevada mountains through early Tuesday, coming on the heels of
powerful storms that walloped the state and other parts of the
U.S. west on Sunday.
The drenching rains and blowing snow flooded rivers and shut
down roads from mudslides in a state that has struggled with
drought for years.
From 3 to 8 inches (7.6 to 20 cm) of rain is forecast in the
region while several feet (1-2 metres) of snow are likely for
higher elevations, said meteorologist Andrew Orrison at the
National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center in
"We're going to see heavy rain going into (Monday) evening
and early morning," he said.
Heavy snow is expected in Nevada and the northern Rocky
Mountains could get several feet of snow over the next day or
The weather service said almost 40 rivers or creeks in
Northern California and western Nevada were flooded or
threatened to top their banks. But an emergency agency spokesman
said there had been no reports of fatalities or serious damage.
Authorities said a section of Interstate 80 near Truckee,
southwest of Reno, Nevada, was closed by a mudslide.
The upper Napa River north of San Francisco was expected to
cause "extreme damage to all towns along the reach," the
California emergency agency said in a statement. Anticipated
flooding brought voluntary evacuations in neighboring Sonoma
Residents of Cambria, near the famous Hearst Castle along
California's central coast, were advised to move to higher
ground due a flash flood warning.
Several other California highways were closed from
landslides or high water. In Washington state, high winds, ice
and heavy snow shut roads and created hazardous driving
Iridium Communications said Elon Musk's SpaceX
rocket company had delayed Monday's launch of a Falcon 9 rocket
carrying 10 of its satellites from Vandenberg Air Force Base,
north of Los Angeles. The launch was now set for Saturday.
The storm is drawing strength from the interaction between
an "atmospheric river," a plume of water vapor flowing from the
tropics toward the West Coast, and a low-pressure area near
Oregon, the National Weather Service said.
After years of drought, the storm is the latest in a strong
wet season for California that began in the autumn. Another
front is expected on Tuesday.
In an encouraging sign, the U.S. Forest Service said the
rain had restored moisture levels in Southern California
vegetation to a seasonal normal for the first time in five
The eastern United States experienced low temperatures on
Sunday, the day after a massive storm dumped snow from Georgia
(Editing by Chris Michaud)