First in series of storms slowly moves into California

December 21, 2021 GMT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The first in a predicted series of rain- and snow-laden storms finally entered California on Tuesday.

The storm was moving more slowly than expected and forecasters models were having difficulty predicting when it would reach various areas while spreading from north to south.

The San Francisco Bay Area weather office called it “the long-anticipated but slow-to-arrive Pacific cold front.”

Stormy weather is expected extend through the holiday weekend, dropping heavy snow in the Sierra Nevada and rain elsewhere.

The National Weather Service warned holiday travelers that conditions in the mountains could be hazardous, starting Wednesday.

Snowfall accumulations in the Sierra Nevada could range from 6 feet to 8 feet (1.8-2.4 meters), with localized amounts up to 10 feet (3 meters), the Sacramento weather office said.

“Travel could be very difficult to impossible,” the weather service said.

Forecast models were having trouble determining when the weather systems would enter southwestern California, pushing back the timing to sometime Wednesday, the NWS said.