SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – A late-season storm moving through California pounded the San Francisco Bay region with rain Friday and brought snow to the southern Cascade range and the northern Sierra Nevada, a welcome addition to water supplies after years of drought.
A record 2.81 inches of rain fell in Redding in Northern California, breaking the old record of nearly one-inch set in 1988. Meanwhile, San Francisco recorded a half inch of rain while Big Sur received nearly an inch of rain, according to the National Weather Service.
Chain controls were mandatory for vehicles traveling through Interstate 80 at Donner Pass because of wind, rain and snow, causing a traffic backup.
Up to 4 inches of snow could accumulate along Interstate 80 and Highway 50, while higher peaks could get 7 inches to 11 inches and Lassen could expect up to 16 inches, forecasters said. Snow was predicted to taper off by late evening.
A short dose of heavy rainfall hit Fresno for several minutes Friday afternoon, accompanied by thunderstorms, dust storms and power outages in the Central Valley.
Elsewhere, gusty winds were forecast for the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys and across Southern California’s mountains and deserts, including Indio, where thousands of people were expected to attend the second weekend of the annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
The onshore flow brought a cooldown to the southwestern portion of the state after days of unseasonable high temperatures, some ranging into the 90s.
Any chance of showers in the south Friday was expected to be limited to San Luis Obispo County. But forecasters said there would be more of a chance at midweek.
While the north has benefited from spring storms, the south largely missed the significant rainfall that it was hoped the El Nino ocean-warming phenomenon would deliver. This season, downtown Los Angeles has recorded only 6.83 inches of rain since Oct. 1, less than half the normal 14.09 inches to date. San Francisco, meanwhile, is above normal with 22.26 inches since Oct. 1. Normal is 22.19 to date.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.