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Powerful Pacific Storm Set to Drench Drought-Stricken California

  • The region depends heavily on winter storms for its water
  • Storm could cause travel delays on mountain highways
A dried cracked lake bed at Lake Oroville during a drought in Oroville, California, on Oct. 11.
A dried cracked lake bed at Lake Oroville during a drought in Oroville, California, on Oct. 11.Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

A powerful storm swirling in the Pacific Ocean is poised to bring much-needed rain and snow this weekend to drought-stricken California. 

Up to 12 inches (30 centimeters) of snow is expected to fall in the Sierra Nevada Mountains starting Saturday, and 2 inches of rain will drench the Sacramento area, according to the National Weather Service. The storm could be intense enough to disrupt travel on roads at higher elevations.