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California storm could bring 12 feet of snow to Sierra Nevada mountains

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(NEW YORK) — A blizzard warning is in effect in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains as a dangerous storm slams the region.

The blizzard began Thursday and will continue off and on through this weekend. The heaviest snow will be Friday and Saturday, when some areas could see snowfall rates of 3 to 5 inches per hour.

Most parts of the Sierras will see 4 to 10 feet of snowfall. The snow could reach 12 feet in the highest elevations.

Yosemite National Park has closed through at least midday Sunday due to the snow and high winds.

Heavy rain is also expected through the weekend in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas.

Parts of Northern California could see more than 3 inches of rain.

In the foothills of Southern California, 1 to 3 inches of rain is possible. Southern California could see some flooding, and with the ground already heavily saturated, mudslides are also possible.

Heavy snow is also expected in Utah, Wyoming and Colorado, and the threat of avalanches is high for most of the West.

After the storm departs Sunday night, a new one will move onto the West Coast, bringing more rain and mountain snow to California on Monday and Tuesday.

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