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NorCal storms boosts ski resorts and reservoirs

12:47 PM, Dec 24, 2012   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO (AP) - The wet weather that has saturated Northern California is giving a much-needed boost to reservoirs and creating ideal skiing conditions.

San Joaquin County Agriculture Commissioner Scott Hudson said on Monday the rains are keeping the grass green for cattle feeds and replenishing reservoirs. The Central Valley often experiences extended droughts during the summer.

Meanwhile, ski resorts are enjoying fresh snow on the slopes. Squaw Valley USA near Lake Tahoe reported receiving more than 3 feet of new snow between Friday and early Sunday morning.

Resort spokeswoman Amelia Richmond says the new snow is helping assure Squaw Valley reaches its second largest Christmas Day snowpack since 1970.

The state is expecting more rain and snow on Christmas Day.

Waterlogged Northern California was slated to get a brief reprieve on Monday after a stormy weekend, but more rain is forecast on Christmas Day.

The National Weather Service was forecasting a mostly sunny Monday, but Tuesday will likely see a return to soggy conditions.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for the northern Sierra on the afternoon of Christmas Day.

Other areas are under a winter storm watch.

Northern Californians slogged through two days of wet and windy weather this weekend as two storms moved through the region, causing headaches for people driving on freeways and delays for air travelers. After a bit of a break in the weather Saturday evening, more heavy rain and strong winds hit the region on Sunday as a slow-moving but more powerful weather system moved through the region, said National Weather Service forecaster Diana Henderson.

"It (Saturday's storm) didn't hold as much water," Henderson said. "It came, it dumped its rain and it ran," she said. "This one is a little moister and a little slower, so it's taking its time meandering through the Bay Area."

But with the ground already saturated from the previous rain, flood warnings were issued for Sonoma and Napa Counties, particularly for small creeks, streams and roads, Henderson said.

A flood watch issued by the National Weather Service for the Russian River at Guernville in Sonoma County remained in effect Monday morning. Other rivers were at flood monitoring stage. For holiday travelers, the storm caused delays at the airports and accidents on the freeways through late Sunday.

"We've definitely had our share of crashes but not a significant amount," said California Highway Patrol Sgt. Diana McDermott.

A nine-car pileup in Oakland and fatal crashes in Sonoma and Marin counties were among the traffic accidents caused by speeding drivers on slippery highways, McDermott said.

The Associated Press

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