SACRAMENTO (CBS13/AP) – Flash flood watches are in place for parts of Northern California down through the Central Coast as heavy rains swamp roads and threaten to overtop rivers and creeks.

The National Weather Service says more than an inch of rain could fall in the San Francisco Bay Area during a series of storms this week.

In Sacramento, the Sacramento River is expected to swell to just a few feet below flood stage.

Tuesday’s storm is whipping up strong winds with gusts topping 50 mph throughout the San Joaquin Valley into Southern California.

The weather service says so much rain had fallen in Los Angeles by Monday that the yearly total for downtown hit about 15 ½ inches – exceeding the normal annual rainfall, even though the new rain year won’t start until October.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.

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