New Storm Heads Toward California, Arizona

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 20 (UPI) — California’s latest winter storm soaked the San Francisco Bay Area Wednesday morning and bore down on Los Angeles and San Diego, weather forecasters said.

Another day of winds and heavy rain was in store for the soggy Golden State, and the finale of the series of storms was expected to be even worse when it moves ashore Thursday.

“It is inevitable that the storms today into Thursday will trigger more flooding and mudslides across California and Arizona,” AccuWeather forecaster Kristina Pydynowski said. “While this is especially true for areas recently burned by wildfires, the danger is heightening elsewhere as rain further saturates the ground.”

Southern California had an overnight respite from the rains and gusty winds that caused scattered property damage and flooding in many areas. The Orange County Register reported that a powerful squall that blew ashore generated a small tornado that damaged homes in Huntington Beach.

Coastal residents were urged to be on their toes for more waterspouts Wednesday and precautionary evacuations were ordered in areas of Los Angeles scorched by last year’s wildfires.

Folks in the Flagstaff area were warned that the same storms would be inundating Northern Arizona with heavy snow this week. The (Flagstaff) Arizona Daily Sun said residents were urged to clear off their already snow-laden roofs and plan on staying home for a few days.

“If we get 3 or more feet of snow in the third storm system, it’s going to take us several days to reach residential neighborhoods,” said Flagstaff Vice Mayor Al White.

Elsewhere in the United States, an ice storm warning was posted in Iowa and scattered thunderstorms rumbled across Tennessee.

Copyright 2010 by United Press International

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