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Fox News Weather Center

Rain, storms to soak San Diego to San Francisco this weekend

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A storm will roll onto the California coast, threatening to bring flash flooding, gusty thunderstorms and travel delays to the state this weekend.

"A vigorous storm will move into Southern California to produce showers and thunderstorms across the state this weekend," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski said.

Following some showers on Friday, steadier rain with embedded thunderstorms will spread across the region on Saturday.

Unlike most storms that moved ashore during the month of March, the bulk of the impacts from this system will focus on Southern California and the surrounding areas.

Cities that can expect drenching rainfall with embedded thunderstorms include San Diego, Long Beach, Anaheim, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.

Any thunderstorms that form could pack quite a punch.

"A few of the storms may be strong to severe, producing hail and gusty winds," Pydynowski explained.

Rain will extend into San Francisco, Sacramento and Redding, but the opportunity for thunderstorms will lessen farther north.

Motorists should be prepared to slow down in any heavy downpours. Weeks without rain has allowed oil to buildup on roadways, making them slick as soon as they become wet.

Airline passengers may face lengthy flight delays at local airports, including Los Angeles International Airport.

In addition to the travel concerns, enough rain may fall to cause flooding and mudslides, especially around burn areas.

Several rain-free weeks have dried out the soil, making it possible for even a small amount of rain to trigger a flash flood or mudslide in a short timespan.

"Any thunderstorm could quickly put down a half inch or more of rain which may cause localized flash flooding," Pydynowski warned.

While on-and-off showers are expected to continue into Sunday, the heaviest precipitation will shift farther eastward into parts of Arizona and New Mexico.

Spotty showers may linger on Monday, but most of California can expect to dry out by Tuesday.

A new storm will eye the state as early as the middle of next week.