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Storm alert issued in drought-stricken California (w/video)

SAN FRANCISCO — Forecasters on Monday issued a winter storm watch for parts of drought-stricken California, with as much as two feet of snow expected in the northern Sierra Nevada and western Plumas County.

The National Weather Service alert for areas above 5,500 feet was set for Tuesday afternoon through Thursday morning.

The heaviest snowfall is expected on Wednesday, with accumulations of one to two feet of snow above 6,000 feet before the storm system moved out.

The system will drop rain elsewhere in California, with half an inch to an inch expected in the San Francisco Bay Area, National Weather Service forecaster Duane Dykema said. Light rain is possible in Southern California.

Northern California will get a brief respite before more precipitation is expected to arrive Friday and over the weekend.

The storms will not make a significant dent in the drought.

"We're so late in the rainy season, by the law of averages and the way the climate works here, it would almost be impossible to make up much ground on our drought situation unless we get very anomalous precipitation between now and the end of April," Dykema said. "The best we can hope for is to ease some of these deficits."

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