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New storm drops rain across soggy California

    Property manager Valorie Lambert monitors flooding at a client's home Monday, Dec. 15, 2014, in Pebble Beach, Calif. A new storm dumped more rain on already waterlogged parts of Northern California, causing minor road flooding, scattered power outages and airport delays. The rain was coming down hard in the San Francisco Bay Area, making for a treacherous commute. A landslide closed both directions of a highway in Fremont.(AP Photo/Monterey Herald, Vern Fisher)

LOS ANGELES >> The first storm in a one-two punch of much-needed moisture arrived Tuesday in Southern California, bringing light rain after unleashing downpours in the northern part of the state.

A cold front brought an intermittent drizzle to the greater Los Angeles area before dawn. A second storm expected to arrive later in the day will pack the heaviest showers, the National Weather Service said. Between 1 and 2 inches of rain was expected at higher elevations, with snow above 6,000 feet.

The storms triggered fresh fears of mudslides in foothill neighborhoods beneath wildfire-scarred mountain areas that were swamped by debris in strong storms last week.

A high-surf advisory is in effect along the Los Angeles County coast until 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Scattered showers in central and Northern California continued to create trouble for morning commuters Tuesday. Highway 17 in the Santa Cruz Mountains was closed when a tree and power lines came down.

An average of an inch to 2 inches of rain fell throughout Monday in the San Francisco and Sacramento regions, causing minor road flooding and power outages.

In Butte County, a 4-mile section of Highway 162 shut down after getting flooded by swollen creeks and drainage channels. There is no estimated date to reopen due to continued rain, authorities said.

Yosemite National Park officials said the Tioga and Glacier Point Roads have closed for the season because of deep snow and icy conditions. A series of storms in the last few weeks have left up to 2 feet of snow in the higher part of the park, including Tuolumne Meadows and Glacier Point.

Still, this week’s systems won’t be nearly as powerful as the blast that dumped as much as 8 inches of rain in parts of Northern California last week and up to 6 feet of snow in the high elevations of the Sierra Nevada. That storm caused widespread flooding and power outages, including in downtown San Francisco.

And while the storms help, much more rain is needed to pull the state out of its severe drought, forecasters say.

The Sierra Nevada was expected to receive a few inches of snow at elevations above about 5,000 feet, a height that includes most ski resorts, said Eric Kurth, a meteorologist in the weather service’s Sacramento office.

The second weather front is expected to dump yet more rain Wednesday in the Bay Area before bringing showers back to Southern California on Friday and Saturday, the weather service said.

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