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Tail-End Of El Niño Storms Hits California

** RCB ** / Flickr

** RCB ** / Flickr

El Niño-driven storms brought scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms throughout California this week. 

According to forecasters, downtown Sacramento has had the wettest start for January since 2008 with 2 inches of rain so far as of 8:15 a.m. Thursday.

Forecasters predict significantly less rain Thursday than has pounded the state all week but warn that flash flooding is still possible into the afternoon.

In the Sacramento region, showers will linger Thursday, along with light snow accumulations in the mountains. Friday is expected to be mostly dry though isolated showers may occur. Another system is expected on Saturday, which will result in snow in the mountains and rain and wind in the valley.

At Yosemite National Park, authorities say rocks fell above Highway 140 (El Portal Road) at about 5:45 a.m. Authorities say the road is closed from the park boundary in El Portal to the junction of Highways 140 and 120  (El Portal Road/Big Oak Flat Road). 

Crews are currently assessing the situation and there is no estimated time for reopening. 

The rockslide occured below the Arch Rock Entrance Station in the area of the Dog Rock Fire, which occurred in October 2014.  No injuries have been reported.

Officials released a stament saying: Highway 41 (Wawona Road) and Highway 120 west (Big Oak Flat Road) remain open with chain restrictions. All roads within Yosemite Valley remain open with chain restrictions as well. Visitors must carry chains in their vehicle when entering a chain control area. Lodging and other facilities in El Portal are accessible.

In Southern California, snow continues to fall in mountain areas and motorists are warned of icy conditions above 4,000 feet, including along the heavily traveled Grapevine section of Interstate 5 north of Los Angeles. Damaging surf is possible from Ventura County south to Orange County. 

California will begin drying out on Friday before another round of light rain moves in over the weekend.

-Capital Public Radio Staff, The Associated Press Contributed To This Report

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