A powerful Pacific storm continues to bring more rain, snow and damaging winds to California, a state already waterlogged from at least 12 atmospheric rivers that have delivered a barrage of rain and snow in recent months.
Up to 3 inches of rain have fallen over the central California coast, and more is one the way Wednesday. Up to 4 feet snow is likely in the northern coastal mountain ranges and the Sierra by Wednesday.
A slight, Level 2 of 4, risk for excessive rainfall remains across the central California coast through early Wednesday morning, with the expectation the risk will weaken throughout the day.
At this time in a normal year, this type of atmospheric river storm would bring beneficial precipitation to the region. But given the unprecedented amount of rain and snow California has already received over a prolonged period, the storm will exacerbate flooding issues, bring down weakened trees and add more snow to already record levels.
Cities including Oakland and Monterey are on track to hit records for rain in March by the end of this week.
“Preceding storms have saturated soils which will result in trees coming down and the potential for more power outages,” National Weather Service meteorologist Roger Gass told CNN.
“We still have road closures in the mountainous areas because of the sheer number of landslides and rockslides since we have been impacted by so many storm systems,” Gass said.
The impacts of this storm are further complicated by strong winds.
Nearly four million people were under a wind advisory in California and Oregon with gusts expected up to 55 mph Wednesday.
Because of the strong winds, near whiteout conditions are possible in parts of Northern California near Mount Shasta, where 1 to 3 feet of snow could fall. Winter storm warnings are in effect for this region and other parts of California through Wednesday.
Sections of Interstate 5 running from California into Oregon were closed Tuesday due to “severe winter conditions,” according to a tweet from the Oregon Department of Transportation.
I-5 northbound is closed from Redding, California, to the border, ODOT said. Southbound traffic is closed from Ashland, Oregon, to the border.
“This could be a long closure until conditions in CA improve,” the agency said.
Statewide, the snowpack in California for the Sierras is currently at 228% of its normal amount for this time of year and this storm will only increase that margin. The Southern Sierras specifically have reached record levels, while the Central Sierra likely will by the end of the winter season.
In response to the severe weather, California Gov. Gavin Newsom requested a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration and expanded the state of emergency to include additional counties impacted by storms that started in late February, his office said in a news release on Tuesday.
The declaration request would help response and recovery for the counties of Calaveras, Kern, Los Angeles, Mariposa, Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz, Tulare, and Tuolumne, the release said. The governor also added Alameda, Marin, Modoc and Shasta counties to the state of emergency already covering 43 other counties, according to the news release.
Correction: A previous version of this story misspelled the last name of NWS meteorologist Roger Gass.
CNN’s Robert Shackelford, Andi Babineau and Taylor Romine contributed to this report.