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8 Inches of Rain in California Dents Drought, Causes Flooding; More Rain on the Way

3 Dec 2014, 5:00 pm

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Rain has been pelting California for days, quenching the state’s parched soil in addition to creating some flooding and a few mudslides. In recent days, huge amounts of rain have fallen in the Golden State.

Here are some of the most impressive rain totals coming out of California:

• Yucaipa Ridge — 8.58″
• Mining Ridge — 6.86″
• Los Gatos, Lexington Hills — 6.71″
• near Boulder Creek — 6.59″
• near Felton — 6.37″
• Downtown San Francisco — 3.87″
• near San Jose — 2.91″
• Downtown Los Angeles — 1.24″

All of this rain has caused some minor flooding in and around Los Angeles, San Francisco, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and in parts of California’s Central Valley.

A mudslide also swallowed parts of the Pacific Coast Highway earlier in the week. The slide originated from a wildfire “burn scar.” Burn scars are more likely to the starting point for mudslides, since plant life isn’t helping to hold the soil in place. According to officials, the highway will remain closed for “several days.”

Even with the minor flooding, meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Los Angeles are heralding the arrival of the rain. “This was as low impact of a storm as you can get. There was very little wind, steady rain, no pounding rain that would have caused problems like flooding. It was a good winter storm, NWS Meteorologist Kathy Noxsie told the L.A. Times.”

The rain that was able to soak into the ground is likely to help put a nice-sized dent in the three-year drought that’s been plaguing California. The latest update from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln Drought Monitor has more than 55 percent of California under “exceptional drought” conditions — the worst on their scale. More than 80 percent of the state is dealing with severe drought.

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Additional rainfall, of 2 to 3 inches, is expected in California as another system moves onshore later this week and into the weekend. At this point, it looks like northern California will bear the brunt of this next system and could get as much as six inches in the higher elevations. WeatherNation meteorologists will be keeping a close eye on the system as it makes its approach to the California coastline. We’ll bring you updates on-air and online as more details become available.

Meteorologist Alan Raymond

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