40 mph mudslides, floods, blizzards, 6 feet of snow, 110 mph winds: California nightmare

John Bacon and Doyle Rice

The National Weather Service issued a flood watch for the California county where a wildfire destroyed more than 13,000 homes last year as the state braced for a powerful storm that could trigger deadly mudslides.

"A powerful Pacific storm will hammer the West Coast into Friday with strong winds, heavy rain and heavy mountain snow," the National Weather Service warned. " Heavy rain will bring a threat of flash flooding along recent burn scars while blizzard conditions are expected in the Sierras."

The state's Central Valley can expect 1-2 inches of rain, with 2-4 possible in the foothills. Northern Shasta County and eastern Butte County, home to the fire-ravaged city of Paradise, could see up to 7 inches of rain, the weather service warned. The neighboring town of Pulga was under an evacuation warning on Tuesday night.

Flash flood and high wind watches are set to go into effect by Wednesday afternoon in the Sacramento and San Francisco areas.

"Mud slides or debris flows over recent burn scar areas are possible," the weather service added.

Earlier this week, mudslides and blowing snow forced closure of sections of the picturesque Pacific Coast Highway and Interstate 5.

Higher up in the Sierra Nevada mountains, where blizzard warnings were in effect, up to 6 feet of snow could fall and winds gust to 110 mph, the weather service said. 

This photo provided by the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) shows a skiploader clearing a river of mud that has flowed onto Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, Calif., Jan. 14, 2019. The first in a series of Pacific storms is moving across Southern California, where downpours could unleash mud and debris flows from large wildfire burn scars.

More: Series of storms to pummel California with rain, snow, wind

More: California mudslides shut down Pacific Coast Highway

Mandatory evacuations were ordered Tuesday in Ventura County and other areas hit by recent wildfires. Rainfall rates could reach between 0.75 inches and 1.25 inches per hour, potentially causing mud and debris flow in wildfire burn areas, the weather service warned.

Contributing: Christian Martinez and Megan Diskin, Ventura County Star; The Associated Press.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 40 mph mudslides, floods, blizzards, 6 feet of snow, 110 mph winds: California nightmare