Happy Wednesday, you've made it halfway thru the first full week after the holidays, congrats!

Heavy rain, snow,and strong winds arewhat you're dealing with today in the Golden State! The current strong El Nino no doubt has a hand in influencing this weather pattern in the West and be prepared for more of the same in the coming days. Speaking of El Nino, data just released from the National Weather Service confirms that the current El Nino has tied the 1997/1998 event as the strongest on record!

The first of several larger storms has moved in across the state today bringing a multitude of hazardous weather to California. Heavy rainfall of up to an inch per hour is forecast with some thunderstorms in southern California while areas near San Francisco have already reported over a half foot of rain! Flash flooding and landslides near recent burn areas are a particularly dangerous threat in addition to falling trees due to wet ground and high winds, and coastal flooding.

While the valley are being drenched in rain, the mountains are being socked in with snow. Areas above 6,000 feet will receive several feet of snow. As colder air arrives the snow levels will drop to 5,000 feet and possibly even 4,000 feet tonight through Friday.

A respite arrives on Friday and into Saturday morning for California, but then another weather system moves onshore later Saturday and into Sunday with more threats of valley rain and mountain snow. In fact there could be as many as half a dozen disturbances impacting the West Coast over the next 2 weeks!

For those of us shaking in our boots in the East, don't worry we have a warm-up on the way. Above normal temperatures return in time for the weekend with daily high temperatures over 10F above normal in the East, but it will be a soggy one. Any wintry precipitation would be reserved to interior and higher elevations of northern New England. This storm will usher in the next push of cold, Arctic air which arrives early next week!We'll try again to get the first accumulating snow in the major Northeast cities next week, but don't hold your breath!

Read more in today's full blog.