Spring Storm Brings Rain, Possible Mountain Snow

Most of the precipitation Friday night is expected to continue in Southern California mountain areas

A spring storm system that brought light rain to northern California early Friday might bring scattered showers and snow to Southern California, but its expected to have no significant impact on the state's drought problem with the dry, hot months of summer ahead.

Rain was reported in San Jose and parts of the San Francisco Bay area early Friday and Southern California communities saw heavy rainfall Friday night. A winter weather advisory and high wind warnings were in effect for parts of Southern California throughout Friday.

Cloud cover increased through Friday afternoon before rain made landfall from the Inland Empire to Santa Monica.

The National Weather Service forecast snow at higher elevations in the Los Angeles area starting on Friday night. Light accumulations were expected on heavily-traveled 5 Freeway north of Los Angeles.

"That snow will be accompanied by very gusty winds," said NBC4 meteorologist Crystal Egger. "Most of the moisture falls in the mountains. Showers will just brush the Inland Empire."

Valley areas can expect scattered showers.

"It's going to be a quick-mover," Egger said.

Skies should clear Saturday morning and into Sunday.

The precipitation, while good news for the state, is unlikely to offer much relief from the ongoing drought. Drought expanded across portions of southeast California and into southwest Arizona this week.

Forecasters issued a winter weather advisory for the Sierra Nevada -- spring runoff from the region's snowpack is vital to California's water supply -- through 5 a.m. Saturday, with an additional four to nine inches of snow expected. Motorists were being advised to carry chains and expect delays.

More than 96 percent of the state faces severe to exceptional drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. One year ago, only 30 percent of the state fell into those categories.

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