- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 18, 2017

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Latest on a series of storms moving into California (all times local):

3:40 p.m.

The worst area of drought in California has significantly narrowed to a small region northwest of Los Angeles that has stubbornly failed to benefit from Pacific storms that have drenched much of the state since the fall and are lining up again.

Just 2.1 percent of the state is now deemed to be in “exceptional drought” - a far cry from a year ago when that label applied to a vast region stretching from greater Los Angeles hundreds of miles up the state’s core to far northern counties.

The last remaining region still in the U.S. Drought Monitor’s most dire category extends from northwestern Los Angeles County and southernmost Kern County westward across much of Ventura County to the south coast of Santa Barbara County.

The first of three more storms arrived in Northern California on Wednesday, causing cancellation of dozens of flights at San Francisco International Airport and forcing closure of Muir Woods National Park in Marin County after several redwoods were blown down.

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3 p.m.

A windy storm in Northern California has led to the cancellation of dozens of flights and the closure of a popular national park.

Dozens of flights were canceled at the San Francisco International Airport Wednesday as the first of a series of rainstorms arrived in the area. Officials say Muir Woods National Park in Marin County was closed for the safety of staff and visitors after several redwood trees were knocked down by wind.

Forecasters say a combination of rain with wind gusts of up to 50 mph will impact the region through the evening, with the strongest gusts expected along the coast in Marin and Sonoma counties.

Another storm is forecast for late Thursday into Friday and a third one is set to arrive late Saturday into Sunday.

In the mountains, Caltrans reports that a 4-mile stretch of Highway 89 on either side of Emerald Bay remains closed, with some sections buried in up to 30 feet of snow. Crews are working to clear the road.

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7:00 a.m.

A series of storms is expected to impact the San Francisco region through the upcoming weekend.

Forecasters say that after several days of dry conditions, an active and unsettled weather pattern returns on Wednesday followed by another late Thursday into Friday and the final set to arrive late Saturday into Sunday.

Forecasters say moderate to heavy rainfall, up to three inches, we be likely at times, especially along the coastal ranges as well as locally strong to gusty winds associated with the passage of each system.

In the mountains, Caltrans reports that a 4-mile stretch of Highway 89 on either side of Emerald Bay remains closed, with some sections buried in up to 30 feet of snow. Crews are working to clear the road.

In Southern California, a winter weather advisory remains in effect from 10 p.m. Wednesday through 10 p.m. Thursday.

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