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Potent atmospheric river storm heading toward California

California Storms
Posted at 10:11 AM, Jan 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-26 13:11:50-05

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 dump heavy snow in the Sierra.

Evacuation orders are in effect for areas of fire-scarred Santa Cruz County and evacuation warnings have been issued in San Mateo County.

The San Francisco weather office says the atmospheric river is expected to be preceded by lighter rain before intensifying Tuesday evening, hitting the North Bay first, then spreading south to Santa Cruz, Monterey and Big Sur.

In Southern California, icy conditions have closed Interstate 5 in Tejon Pass and State Route 58 in Tehachapi Pass.