Fox News Weather Center

Storms to pound California with flooding rain, mountain snow into next week

Rounds of heavy rain will heighten the risk of flooding and mudslides across California as storms continue to roll ashore into the second week of March.

Rain bypassed the state during most of February, but a shift in the weather pattern will steer storms into the California coast this weekend and into next week.

Rain, wind target California

"Storms will usher in moderate to heavy rain across California and heavy snow to the Sierra Nevada [through Monday]," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rathbun stated.

Over half a foot of rain could fall across northern California.

Snow levels will fall throughout the weekend, allowing feet of snow to accumulate in the Sierra Nevada. Travel will be extremely difficult and dangerous through the mountain passes.

As these storms roll ashore, winds could gust up to 60 mph especially along the coast, potentially causing downed trees and power outages.

While this rain will help replenish depleted water reservoirs and put a dent in the long-standing drought, the large amount of rain in a short time frame may lead to hazards such as flooding, mudslides and debris flows.

Recent burn areas will be most susceptible to mudslides and debris flows, AccuWeather Western U.S. Weather Expert Ken Clark said.

Travelers should prepare for possible road closures and airport delays.

Excessive rainfall could also lead to river and stream flooding.

Andy Morin, a lead hydrologic forecaster at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's California Nevada River Forecast Center, explained that his team would keep a close eye on river flood stages and the potential for flash flooding, especially in urban areas.

Motorists are reminded to turn around and find an alternate route when a flooded roadway is encountered.

Despite its drawbacks, the rainfall will be beneficial to the water supply, added Morin.

A lull in the storm train will allow for a brief stretch of dry weather across the state on Tuesday.

While rain will return to northern California at midweek, dry conditions are expected to hold across Southern California into late week.