(CNN) -- A huge winter storm was affecting the West Coast on Sunday, poised to dump up to 10 feet of snow in some higher elevations, and causing flooding and potential mudslides in lower spots while impacting driving conditions and air travel, forecasters said.
A winter storm warning remained in effect through Monday afternoon for California's Sierra Nevada mountains, from Yosemite to Kings Canyon, according to the National Weather Service. "Storm totals of 5 to 10 feet above 7,000 feet are likely," the weather service said, and periods of heavy snow will continue through Monday. High winds are also forecast for the region.
Temperatures plunged overnight, with a record low for Northern Ireland seen in Castlederg, County Tyrone, where the mercury plunged to minus 17.6C. The lowest UK temperature overnight was thought to be minus 19.6C, recorded in Chesham, Buckinghamshire.
Forecasters have said the UK is experiencing some of the most severe winter weather in a century, with continued sub-zero temperatures and snowfalls of up to 20cm expected on Monday.
Wherever you may be today, there's a good chance you're walking in a winter wonderland. Mostly because it isn't safe to drive or fly.
A winter storm warning remained in effect through Monday afternoon for California's Sierra Nevada mountains, where 5 to 10 feet of snow could accumulate on top of the 9 to 10 feet that fell in some areas Sunday.
Heavy rains prompted the emergency evacuation Monday of nearly 2,000 residents of a flooding Southern California town and the
temporary closure of at least two highways because of mudslides.
Residents near McFarland were being evacuated Monday because of what Fire Department spokesman Sean Collins called "major flooding."
The area has been inundated with rain for four days, with totals ranging as high as 10 inches. The National Weather Service said additional rain is expected in the area through Tuesday.
Heavy snow was snarling air travel in Europe, where hundreds of flights were canceled in London, Paris, Frankfurt and Berlin. And just for good measure, the temperature reached zero degrees Fahrenheit overnight in Northern Ireland.
London's Gatwick Airport was closed until Tuesday morning after 5 cm (2 inches) of snow fell in an hour Monday night, airport officials reported.
Australians may see a white Christmas for the first time in decades after up to 11 inches of snow fell in New South Wales and smaller amounts in Victoria. Aussies traditionally sunbathe on the beach on Christmas.
A relentless weather system continued to pound California on Monday, forcing the evacuation of several thousand residents in a Kern County farming community.
The evacuations were ordered after major flooding was reported in McFarland, a community of 12,000 residents. Kern County Fire Department spokesman Sean Collins said as many as 2,000 people needed to seek shelter.
As much as 13 inches of rain had been recorded since Thursday in some areas, causing localized flooding and fears of widespread mudslides.
Heavy rains were even being recorded in the normally dry southwestern desert area.
The downpours put one community in the San Gabriel Mountain foothills just north of Los Angeles on high alert for possible mudslides. Many of the slopes surrounding La Canada Flintridge had been stripped bare of virtually vegetation by a wildfire, making mountainsides particularly vulnerable to instability and slides.
HONOLULU -- The National Weather Service extended a flash flood watch for the entire state on Monday afternoon.
The flash flood watch is now set to expire at 6 a.m. on Tuesday. A high surf advisory is also set until that time.
A flash flood watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. If you are in a low lying area, move to higher ground if a warning is issued.
The state is under a moist air mass which could trigger heavy showers.
Rainfall Totals (8 p.m. Saturday to 2 p.m. Monday):
Kapahi, Kauai 5.88 inches
Maunawili, Oahu 11.44 inches
Molokai 0.20 inches
Lanai 0.55 inches
Waipkapu Country Club, Maui 0.87 inches
Kaupulehu, Big Island 1.38 inches
The winter solstice is poised to make weather woes worse for parts of the region, which is now under storm surge, rainfall and wind warnings, according to Environment Canada. With the full moon closest to Earth today -- the first official day of winter -- the tide is expected to be high. But meteorologist Claude Cote said heavy rain and wind will cause the tide to come in even more. "It's one of the highest tides on the calendar," he said. "But the weather conditions will make (it) so that the actual water level will be in excess of one metre above this level, so that's going to result in some of the coastal communities probably (going) to experience flooding."
Commuters and people returning home for Christmas continue to have their travel plans disrupted as the bad weather throughout Europe shows no signs of easing.
Heavy snows along the east coast of the country forced Dublin airport to suspend all flights for over five hours last night and caused traffic chaos across the city.
Throughout the rest of Europe the heavy snowfalls caused chaos, with large numbers of flights cancelled and major disruptions on roads and railways.
This was the year the Earth struck back. Earthquakes, heat waves, floods, volcanoes, super typhoons, blizzards, landslides and droughts killed at least a quarter of a million people in 2010 – the deadliest year in more than a generation. More people were killed worldwide by natural disasters this year than have been killed in terrorism attacks in the past 40 years combined.
Los Angeles, Dec 22 : A state of emergency was declared across many areas of southern California in the US Wednesday as the strongest series of storms in decades pummelled the normally balmy region...
with meteorologists, authorities and residents bracing for the most powerful wave Wednesday, the fear was that the Golden State would be engulfed in a torrent of mudslides, flooding, tidal surges, thunderstorms and hail.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency in Kern, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo and Tulare counties because of the storms.
Authorities were particularly concerned about hillsides that had been devastated by wildfires in recent years, where the deep saturation could cause massive mudslides.