18 February, 2017
At higher elevations, particularly above 6,000 feet, heavy snow is expected.
With soil already saturated from significant rains this winter, forecasters warned of the potential for flash floods and debris flows, especially near areas left barren by wildfires.
Rain fell in some areas at rates up to three quarters of an inch per hour and wind gusts hit 55 mph in the Malibu hills, the weather service said. It follows a quick-moving system Thursday that delivered modest rainfall totals, ranging from almost 2 inches in Venado in Sonoma County, 1.33 inches in the Santa Cruz Mountains and less than a half-inch in most cities.
The first wave of rain will begin along California's Central Coast today, then move south and into Los Angeles and Ventura counties tonight, with a stronger wave generated by a second storm system slamming into the Southland Friday morning.
"The Oroville Dam and areas around it will see some rain Friday, but the bulk of the rain has shifted south". Almost 190,000 people were evacuated from the area Sunday amid concerns about a crumbling emergency spillway at overflowing Lake Oroville.
Rain was also forecast for Northern California and southern OR, where the weather service issued a flood warning until Friday afternoon.
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There will also be unsafe, locally damaging surf at the beaches from Thursday through Sunday, particularly for west-facing beaches Rip currents, beach erosion and minor coastal flooding are also expected.
In the mountains, between 1 and 2 feet of snow are possible above 8,000 feet and between 6 and 12 inches above 6,000 feet, the NWS said.
Also in effect and affecting sailors is a small craft advisory that will be in effect from 9 tonight to noon Friday and a gale watch - issued in cases of winds of between 34 and 47 knots - from Friday afternoon through late Saturday night.
The storm, which combines an unusually intense low pressure area with a firehose of moisture whose hose stretches back for more than 2,000 miles, way out to near Hawaii, will rage throughout the day on Friday and into Saturday in one of the most populated and storm-averse areas of the country.
"If you're not an expert surfer, you should stay out of the water through this weekend", Erdman said. "So much rain, I get busy".