Storms bring much-needed rain to Bay Area 

Drought-stricken California got some help Thursday from the weather — a prelude to a bigger storm for parts of the state over the weekend that could dump as much as 2 feet of snow in the northern Sierra and 6 inches of rain on Bay Area mountains.

While the overdue wet weather is welcome and may be a sign of things to come, forecasters say the state needs much more rain and snow to make up for one of the driest rainy seasons so far.

“I won’t say the storm door is open, but maybe we’ll get into more of a routine storm pattern now,” said Bob Benjamin, a National Weather Service forecaster.

On Thursday, rain in the Bay Area contributed to numerous crashes.San Francisco had received a little less than three-quarters of an inch of rain by late Thursday afternoon and was not expected to get much more before the storm moved out, Benjamin said.

In the northern Sierra, the National Weather Service was forecasting as much as 6 inches of snow at higher elevations.

But Thursday’s rainfall was just the beginning — at least in Northern California. Forecasters say a stronger system moving in today will dump as much as 6 inches of rain on Bay Area mountains and 2 feet of snow in the Sierra over the weekend.

San Francisco and Sacramento could get a couple of more inches of rain, the National Weather Service said. Still, the state would remain well off its normal rainfall totals for the year. February is normally the wettest month.

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