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California storms bring flight delays, snow

| Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014, 9:21 p.m.

SAN FRANCISCO — Rain, fog and wind gusts triggered hours of flight delays at San Francisco's airport on a busy post-Thanksgiving on Sunday, while Sierra Nevada ski resorts that have stocked up on artificial-snow machines in the drought enjoyed a few inches of the real stuff.

Weekend storms moving across Northern California brought a foot of snow to the Sierra's Donner Pass, and the storms moving in from the coast were bringing several more inches of snow to northern mountains by Monday morning, the National Weather Service said.

At the Boreal Mountain Resort near Lake Tahoe, skiers under low, gray clouds were making turns Sunday on 9 inches of snow that fell since Friday night.

“We're all skiers and riders up here — we love to have those powder days,” said Tess Hobbs, a spokeswoman at the ski resort.

The same storms brought at least trace amounts of rain to much of Northern California. Dozens of Northern California cities received a half-inch or more, while Sonoma, north of San Francisco, recorded more than 3 inches over 24 hours.

Reduced visibility at San Francisco International Airport forced airport officials to scale back the number of hourly flights in and out from 60 to about 25, airport duty manager Dan Dinnocenti said.

By late Sunday afternoon, travelers there were experiencing delays of two hours and more on most flights, he said.

The northern Sierras stood Sunday at just 76 percent of normal precipitation for this point in what meteorologists call the water year, which starts Oct. 1, National Weather Service forecaster Holly Osborne said.

Still, a series of back-to-back storms in November have made this year better than last year, when it took until February for the Sierras to get as much rain and snow as they have now, Osborne said.

Meanwhile, a cold front moving across Oklahoma into Arkansas on Sunday is expected to be followed by light freezing rain and freezing drizzle in northeastern Oklahoma through north-central Arkansas.

The National Weather Service said temperatures are expected to fall into the 20s to lower 30s Sunday night into Monday morning, with the rain and drizzle likely to begin about 3 a.m.

“The amounts will probably be on the order of .05 to a .1 of an inch, the higher amounts up in northwestern Arkansas,” said meteorologist Michael Lacy with the National Weather Service. That could make travel troublesome early Monday.

“Mostly during the morning commute, and mainly on bridges and overpasses,” he said.

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