,A third consecutive weekend storm rolled across Northern California on Sunday, keeping the region flush with rain and snow and dropping hail over a swath of the Sacramento area.
As of Sunday afternoon, downtown Sacramento recorded 0.33 inches of rain from the storm, while snow levels reached up to 16.1 inches in the South Lake Tahoe area, said Brooke Bingaman, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Sacramento.
“It’s been an intriguing clockwork coincidence,” Bingaman said. “Typically we get our storms every seven to 10 days, but like clockwork, it’s been every seven days.”
The weather service issued a severe thunderstorm warning in El Dorado County on Sunday afternoon, citing reports of lightning, hail as big as an inch in diameter and wind gusts up to 60 mph. Areas affected included Placerville, Coloma, Camino and Pollock Pines.
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Heavy rain and hail began falling around 2:30 p.m. Sunday, with bright lightning flashes and building-shaking thunder, said Auburn-area resident Mike DePiero.
The storm moved southeast, out of El Dorado County and toward Stanislaus National Forest, National Weather Service forecaster Travis Wilson said.
A tornado hit Denair, in Stanislaus County, on Sunday afternoon, Wilson said. No injuries were reported, but trees and power lines throughout the area were damaged, according to the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department.
The weather service has issued a winter storm warning for the Sierra through 10 p.m. Sunday. Up to 4 inches of snow is predicted for elevations of 7,000 feet.
As of Sunday afternoon, Tahoe snow levels were reported at 16.1 inches at 7,200 feet in the Meadow Lake area, 13.5 inches at 6,883 feet at Soda Springs Resort and 9.5 inches at 8,350 feet near Emerald Bay State Park.
Snow chains are required for vehicles traveling through Tahoe and the Sierra via major highways including Interstate 80 and U.S. Highway 50, according to the California Department of Transportation.