Stormy holiday week shaping up for California, Sierra Nevada

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CA - DECEMBER 16: A photographer takes pictures of the Merced River after a major Pacific storm dumped a foot of in snow in Yosemite Valley (4,000 feet above sea leval) and 8-10 feet of powder in the higher elevations of the P

Another round of widespread rain and heavy snow in the mountains is shaping up for recently drenched California and much of Nevada in the coming week and could create hazards for holiday travelers, forecasters said Saturday.

Several waves of precipitation are forecast to move inland as a cold low pressure system from the Gulf of Alaska deepens off the West Coast, the National Weather Service said.

The timing of the precipitation was not certain but was likely to begin in the far north on Monday, become more widespread on Tuesday and extend through Southern California by midweek.

Coastal peaks north of San Francisco Bay could receive up to 8 inches of rain by Christmas morning.

The Sacramento weather office said mountain snow levels could initially start below 3,000 feet and then trend above 4,500 feet.

"Holiday travel could be significantly disrupted by these storms, with little break in the snow during this extended event," the Sacramento office said.

"There will be few, if any, meaningful breaks in the weather for the Sierra once the storms begin on Tuesday, so plan ahead," the Reno, Nevada, weather office added.

The system's strength by the time it reaches Southern California is uncertain, but forecasters urged residents near wildfire burn scars to monitor forecasts.