A flood watch has been placed in effect for much of Northern California through Sunday as the second in a series of heavy storms continues to batter the state. More than two inches of rain have already fallen in and around San Francisco, where the city’s Great Highway has been closed due to flooding. In Sacramento, a big-rig crash created a traffic jam several miles in lengths. Over five inches of rain are expected to fall there by Sunday and officials are warning that the Sacramento River could exceed flood stage at several locations.
"This is a very warm series of storm systems with a connection to tropical moisture," said meteorologist Nick Wiltgen. "As a result, the rain will be heavy, and will reach high into the mountains; at times this weekend, the snow will only be falling at elevations above 8,000 feet. This increases the risk of flooding." The third storm is expected to hit California on Saturday, bringing the total rainfall to over 12 inches.
Further north, the National Weather Service predicted that storms could bring potentially record-breaking snowfall for Mount Shasta, with up to 30 inches falling on Friday night alone. Shasta holds the current world record for snowfall in a single snowstorm, with 189 inches in six days. Estimates place the potential for this storm's snowfall as high as 218 inches over four days.