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Northwest socked with rain, ice

SEATTLE — A significant weekend storm disrupted plans across the Northwest United States, blanketing parts of Washington state with snow while socking Oregon and California with rain.

Seattle-area residents woke up to a rare treat of lowland snow Sunday. Meanwhile, Portland officials sent out a cellphone alert Sunday morning urging residents to stay indoors and avoid travel after freezing rain turned streets and sidewalks into thick sheets of ice.

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The National Weather Service said the first significant storm to hit Northern California in 14 months has produced impressive amounts of rain and snow, but forecasters cautioned Sunday that it would take weeks of similar drenching to end the state’s immediate drought worries.

‘‘This event, while it certainly isn’t going to take us out of the drought, we couldn’t have asked for a better storm,’’ said meteorologist Scott McGuire in Reno. ‘‘We are seeing very, very impressive rainfall and snowfall amounts.’’

After subsisting on machine-made snow for much of the season, Tahoe’s ski resorts embraced the more than 3 feet of new snow they got over two days, although it heightened the risk of avalanches.

Nearly 3 inches of snow fell at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the heaviest snowfall in a single day at that location in about two years. Parts of southwest Washington got hit with 5 inches or more.

High avalanche danger prompted officials at Mount Rainier National Park to close the gate to the Paradise area at the Longmire area on Sunday.

Freezing rain Saturday brought treacherous conditions to the Portland metro area, forcing transportation officials to temporarily suspend light-rail and streetcar operations before resuming service Sunday morning.

Parts of the northern San Francisco Bay Area saw sizable amounts of rain along with flash-flood warnings. Woodacre, which has the highest base elevation in Marin County, received more than 10 inches of rain since the storm moved in Friday, while downtown San Francisco got more than 2 inches.

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