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Potent Atmospheric River Storm Heading Toward California

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A potent atmospheric river is barreling toward Northern California, bringing the threat of downpours that could unleash destructive debris flows from wildfire burn scars and a heavy dump of snow in the Sierra.

Evacuation orders are in effect for areas of fire-scarred Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties.

The atmospheric river is expected to intensify by Tuesday evening, hitting the North Bay first, then spreading south to Santa Cruz.

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The weather service has issued a rare blizzard warning for the Lake Tahoe area and as far south as Mammoth Lakes. Avalanche danger will also be high.