LOS ANGELES - A spring storm was expected to bring several inches of rain to some areas of drought-parched California and up to two feet of snow to mountains beginning late on Monday, just days after Governor Jerry Brown ordered sweeping cuts in water use.
Meteorologists said the early April rain and snow would be welcome in a state suffering through a devastating, multi-year drought, but cautioned that it would not make a significant dent on California's water-shortage problems.
Brown last week ordered residents and businesses across California to cut water use by 25 percent in the first such mandatory statewide reduction in the state's history.
"The impact (of this storm) is going to be pretty minimal on the drought," National Weather Service meteorologist Scott Sukup said. "In Northern California we're only calling two to three inches of rain at the most.
Sukup said the storm, which originated in the Gulf of Alaska, was soaking the states of Washington and Oregon on Monday morning before it was due to move into Northern California later in the day.
He said the San Francisco Bay Area could expect half-inch to a full inch of rain, with more in foothills, before the storm headed for Southern California bringing similar rainfall amounts.
Sukup said the storm could drop up to two feet of snow in the higher elevations of the Sierra Nevada mountains, good news for a state which relies heavily on snowpack for its water supply.
California's snowpack, which generally provides about a third of the state's water, is at its lowest level on record.