Weather

Storm blows through Sacramento, drops nearly half-inch of rain

City of Sacramento Department of Urban Forestry worker Kevin McClain removes a tree that fell across L Street near 14th Street after a storm passed through Sunday morning on December 13, 2015 in Sacramento, Calif.
City of Sacramento Department of Urban Forestry worker Kevin McClain removes a tree that fell across L Street near 14th Street after a storm passed through Sunday morning on December 13, 2015 in Sacramento, Calif. pkitagaki@sacbee.com

A strong storm lumbered across Northern California on Sunday, dousing Sacramento with much-needed rain and layering the Sierra with more than a foot of snow.

Sacramento’s downtown area recorded 0.45 inches of precipitation, according to the National Weather Service. Yuba City saw more than 1.18 inches of rain, while Davis recorded about half an inch. Wind gusts reaching up to 35 mph drove the rain in sheets throughout the early morning, swirling leaves and downing tree limbs before giving way to sunshine in the early afternoon.

In the Sierra, snow was expected to fall throughout the day. Accumulations of 12 to 18 inches were expected at lower elevations, with as much as 2 feet of fresh powder falling at the peaks, said Nathan Owen, a National Weather Service forecaster.

The wintry weather caused traffic snarls in the Sierra. Traffic was slow on the major arteries as chain control was implemented Sunday on both Interstate 80 from Baxter in Placer County to Truckee, and Highway 50 from Kyburz to Meyers in El Dorado County. The California Highway Patrol held traffic on westbound I-80 for several hours because of multiple spinouts and poor visibility.

The storm was expected to leave Northern California by early Monday, and sunny skies are predicted for Sacramento until next weekend.

Richard Chang: 916-321-1018, @RichardYChang

Three-day forecast

Monday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 53. Winds around 9 mph.

Monday night: Mostly clear, with a low around 35. Winds around 10 mph.

Tuesday: Sunny, with a high near 53. Wind gusts of 23 mph.

Tuesday night: Mostly clear, with a low around 33.

Wednesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 54.

Wednesday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 36.

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