Another bout of rain, wind and snow was expected across large parts of California on Thursday as a powerful winter storm moved east across the state, disrupting power grids and posing a risk of flash flooding .

Weather conditions in much of the state deteriorated overnight as the storm, one of several storms to hit the West Coast this month, moved ashore from the Pacific Ocean. in the form of heavy rain and strong winds whipped across san franciscosnow plow drivers race clean fresh powder in the Sierra Nevada.

Flash Flood watches and winter storm Warning were in effect across the state early Thursday, and about six million residents under high wind warnings, Forecasters warned that a combination of high winds and saturated ground conditions could felling treesLeading to power outages.

About 200,000 customers were without power in the state as of early Thursday, according to the tracking site, mostly in northern counties, In a sign of the storm’s strength, winds ripped through the canopy over a gas station in South San Francisco, according to local television news footage,

Officials blamed at least two deaths on Wednesday on the storm. In Fairfield, California, northeast of San Francisco, a 19-year-old woman was killed when the car she was driving hydroplanes and collides with a utility pole, the police said, A 2-year-old boy died when a redwood tree fell on a mobile home in Occidental, a rural community in Sonoma County, said Josh Cerda, a firefighter engineer with the local volunteer fire department.

Two to four inches of rain, and up to six inches in some places, was forecast overnight for northern California, the National Weather Service Said An advisory on Wednesday said parts of the Southern California coast could receive heavy rain later Thursday.

The advisory said that moisture increased the potential for rapid runoff along the state’s coast and interior valleys, as well as in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and in areas around the wildfire burn trail.

The storm is part of a series of atmospheric rivers – channels of moisture from the tropical Pacific Ocean. heavy rain ahead is expected to hit California on Saturday and again on Monday.

Scientists aren’t sure how climate change affects the likelihood that atmospheric rivers will again come crashing down on California’s coast in a succession of rapid fires. Scientists are studying whether global warming could change the way that winds move moisture around the atmosphere.

When such storms are especially severe or flow through in rapid succession, they can deliver a lot of water very quickly to a state that has recently been wracked by drought and wildfires .

“This is an extreme weather event, and we are moving from extreme drought to extreme flooding,” said Carla Nemeth, director of the California Department of Water Resources. told reporters on Wednesday, “What this means is that many of our trees are stressed. After three years of intense drought, the ground is saturated and there is great potential for trees to fall which will cause significant problems.

California has been hit hard this month, even as heavy rain and snow brought some relief to the state’s vast agriculture industry. A whirlwind river that drenched the West Coast last week killed at least five people in Oregon. A related storm struck earlier this week, causing widespread flooding in the Bay Area and killing at least four people in California.

With more severe weather on the way, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced state of emergency on Wednesday, adding that they expected more highway closures, infrastructure failures and mandatory evacuations in the coming days.

Several communities in California issued evacuation orders, including one area of ​​San Benito County, south of San Jose, where a failure of a hydroelectric dam was expected to cause flooding. officers in san francisco served to secure Enough sandbags for residents, and many students in flood-prone San Mateo County were told to leave early Thursday and stay at home.

Victoria Kim Contributed reporting.

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