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article imageRain and snow storms finally soak Northern California

By Nathan Salant     Dec 4, 2014 in Environment
Monterey - The biggest rainstorms in years are expected to continue to pound Northern California for days after resuming Wednesday, bringing a welcome end to three years of drought but ushering in concerns about landslides, flooding and falling trees.
Lightning strikes were reported throughout the region, including well inland, and the San Francisco Bay Area reported as much as 1.5 inches of rain by midday.
Rainfall seemed certain to make Wednesday the strongest storm to hit the region since 2009, as San Francisco reported 1.2 inches of rain by 11 a.m.
“Thus far, we’re at about 11th in the wettest one-day period in the last eight or nine years,” National Weather Service forecaster Bob Benjamin told the Los Angeles Times newspaper.
“It’s likely the wettest period thus far this rain season, and quite possibly this calendar year,”
Benjamin said.
Flood advisories were issued for the entire Bay Area from Napa to Monterey counties, the [url=http://National Weather Service t=_blank]weather service said.
Temperatures remained in the upper 40s and low 50s because the storms were emanating from the southern Pacific Ocean instead of from Alaska, where they usually come from this time of year.
“It’s sort of a warm, moist storm,” Benjamin said.
In the state capital of Sacramento, 150 miles east of San Francisco, rain totals had already surpassed rainfall for all of last December, and local street flooding was reported, the newspaper said.
"We are going to get more rain [in one day] than last December," said Holly Osborne, a meteorologist with the NWS in Sacramento.
Storms are expected to continue through Thursday, she said.
A winter storm warning was issued in the Sierra Nevada mountains, where as much as three feet of snow was expectded in the higher elevations, the newspaper said.
Snow engulfed mountain communities above 7,000 feet, and ski resorts reported as much as 10 inches of new snow, the California Highway Patrol said.
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