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Stormy weather means rainy, snowy California Christmas

December 23, 2021 GMT
Pedestrians carry umbrellas as they walk past a large holiday tree outside of the Chase Center in San Francisco, Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021. Rain and snow showers fell on Northern California on Wednesday in the first wave of a wet weather pattern that is expected to spread throughout the state and last through Christmas into next week, forecasters said. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Pedestrians carry umbrellas as they walk past a large holiday tree outside of the Chase Center in San Francisco, Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021. Rain and snow showers fell on Northern California on Wednesday in the first wave of a wet weather pattern that is expected to spread throughout the state and last through Christmas into next week, forecasters said. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Pedestrians carry umbrellas as they walk past a large holiday tree outside of the Chase Center in San Francisco, Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021. Rain and snow showers fell on Northern California on Wednesday in the first wave of a wet weather pattern that is expected to spread throughout the state and last through Christmas into next week, forecasters said. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
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Pedestrians carry umbrellas as they walk past a large holiday tree outside of the Chase Center in San Francisco, Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021. Rain and snow showers fell on Northern California on Wednesday in the first wave of a wet weather pattern that is expected to spread throughout the state and last through Christmas into next week, forecasters said. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
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Pedestrians carry umbrellas as they walk past a large holiday tree outside of the Chase Center in San Francisco, Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021. Rain and snow showers fell on Northern California on Wednesday in the first wave of a wet weather pattern that is expected to spread throughout the state and last through Christmas into next week, forecasters said. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Rain and snow showers fell in California on Wednesday in the first wave of a wet weather pattern that is expected to spread throughout the state and last through Christmas and into next week, forecasters said.

Forecasters warned that holiday travel, especially through high passes, would be affected by multiple rounds of rain, mountain snow and gusty winds.

Winter storm warnings were in effect in sections of the Sierra Nevada and will last through Sunday, the National Weather Service said.

Chain requirements were already in effect for vehicles on some stretches of routes through the Sierra, according to the California Department of Transportation.

Rainfall was light to moderate around the San Francisco Bay Area and spread slowly down the coast, arriving Wednesday night in Ventura County.

Widespread rain wasn’t expected in Southern California until Thursday. Forecasters said a flood watch would be in effect Thursday evening through Friday morning due to possible excessive rainfall from an atmospheric river pointed at the region.