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'Pineapple Express' Storm System to Pummel West Coast With Rain, Snow

Image: 'Pineapple Express' Storm System to Pummel West Coast With Rain, Snow
Traffic moves through a flooded section of highway 101 on December 11, 2014 in South San Francisco, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 11 Dec 2014 03:17 PM

A river of atmospheric moisture called the "Pineapple Express" is enveloping northern California and other parts of the West Coast in the worst storm to hit the area in five years, packing blizzard-level snow and torrential rains.

Comparing the storm, which began Wednesday and is expected to continue through Friday, to storms that hit the state in 2009 and 1997, Doyle Rice told USA Today that California residents can expect to see high winds, flooding, and lots of snow in certain areas in the northern part of the state. Hurricane-force winds are also likely.

Some school districts closed schools on Thursday in preparation for heavy rains and wind, USA Today said.

By Thursday, tens of thousands were without power in northern California as the predicted weather moved into the state, The Associated Press said. One flooded substation in San Francisco left 80,000 with no power.

Parts of the coast, Santa Cruz to Monterey, may see waves reach a height of 27 or 28 feet, the AP said, and many piers popular with tourists were closed. In addition, ferries to other popular sites, such as Alcatraz, were canceled. Trains and flights were delayed.

"Sinkholes, mudslides, rock slides, they're all very real concerns today," said Fox’s Claudia Cowan, noting that authorities had warned people to avoid driving if at all possible, especially in the mountains where whiteout conditions were expected to continue all night.

California has been suffering from a prolonged drought, but after a rainy week and the anticipated storm, Wunderground weather historian Christopher C. Burt expressed "hope that the worst of the long drought in California may at last be coming to an end."

Burt said southern California wasn’t expected to receive much of the moisture, which leaves that area still drier than normal.



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A river of atmospheric moisture called the "Pineapple Express" is enveloping northern California and other parts of the West Coast in the worst storm to hit the area in five years, packing blizzard-level snow and torrential rains.
pineapple express, storm, rain, snow
310
2014-17-11
Thursday, 11 Dec 2014 03:17 PM
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