Updated 7:24am: More rain is predicted for some areas in California, as the city of Fresno gets 1-2 inches (2.5-5.6cm) of rain. More rain is expected today across Northern California. National Weather Service meteorologist Nick Aliberti said that downtown San Francisco should get 0.5-1.5 inches (1.1-3.2cm) of rain by late afternoon. More precipitation is expected to arrive in Northern California this afternoon. In the south, rainfall will linger in the morning, and sunny skies are forecast for Friday and the weekend.
The Sierra Nevada mountain range is receiving a much-needed accumulation of rain from a series of storms which have battered the West Coast of the United States.
More than six inches (15cm) have fallen since Thursday in portions of the Sierra Nevada snowpack, according to the National Weather Service. Another six inches (15cm) of precipitation is expected through Sunday, with winds up to 70 mph (113km/h) in the mountains from Friday evening through Sunday afternoon.
Some areas of Northern California have already received up to 7 inches (18cm) of rain, including a one-hour period which saw Oroville, the state’s fifth-largest reservoir, receive close to five inches (13cm) of rain.
Harvey Swift, at the National Weather Service, reported that Sierra Nevada snowpack had already received up to 60% of its normal water for this time of year.
In California alone, 1.5 inches (3.7cm) of rain fell in a 24-hour period in the state’s major agricultural region, Madera County.
Because of the upcoming rainy season in California, farmers warned earlier this year that this year could be a year of extremes.
“This wet season is a critical one,” said Alejandro Lucio, who owns Sonora almond orchards near Madera. “If we don’t get a lot of rain we are going to have trouble.”
The outlook for drought relief in California has been positive over the past two years. Last year, drought conditions across California were reduced to the mildest levels in years, thanks to severe drought conditions in 2015.
But in the first six months of 2018, Californians have faced drought restrictions because of a lack of rainfall.
Associated Press contributed to this report