Major storm hitting West Coast with heavy rain, strong winds

ABC News(SAN FRANCISCO) -- One of the strongest storms so far this season is moving onto the West Coast on Wednesday morning, bringing heavy rain to Washington and Oregon.

Six western states are currently under flood, snow, wind or fire alerts due to the storm.

The biggest threat with this storm will be flash flooding, debris flow and rock slides in the recent burn areas in central and northern California just north of San Francisco.

The heaviest rain will move into the San Francisco Bay area right around dinner time and continue through the evening.

The National Weather Service is warning that this rain could fall at a rate of 1 to 2 inches per hour in the north Bay Area and could produce flash flooding.

The cold front associated with the storm system will move south into Santa Barbara and Los Angeles metro area Thursday night into Friday, bringing them some rain. ABC News is not expecting flooding in southern California from the system.

The storm system is also expected to bring lots of wind to the West, from the San Francisco Bay area to the central Rockies, where winds could gust as high as 70 mph.

The heaviest snow of the season so far is expected in the Sierra Nevada mountains, where some areas could see up to 3 feet in the next couple of days.

Rainfall totals will range from 1 to 4 inches north of San Francisco and also in the Pacific Northwest.

The storm system will move east by the weekend and will bring hazardous travel to the Great Lakes and the Northeast at the start of the holiday travel period.

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