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Potent atmospheric river storm heading toward California

California Storms
Posted at 2:42 PM, Jan 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-26 17:42:35-05

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A potent atmospheric river is barreling toward Northern California, bringing the threat of downpours that could unleash destructive debris flows from wildfire burn scars and a heavy dump of snow in the Sierra.

Evacuation orders are in effect for areas of fire-scarred Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties. The San Francisco weather office says the atmospheric river is expected to be preceded by light rain before intensifying Tuesday evening, hitting the North Bay first, then spreading south to Santa Cruz, Monterey and Big Sur.

The weather service has issued a rare blizzard warning for the Lake Tahoe area and as far south as Mammoth Lakes. Avalanche danger will also be high.