SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California's warm and dry Christmas holiday was set to give way Monday to periods of stormy weather through the New Year's weekend.
Rain was expected to arrive in Northern California during the afternoon and evening, followed by heavy snow in the Sierra Nevada and other mountain ranges.
The National Weather Service office in Sacramento called it a "major weather pattern change."
"This will bring multiple rounds of rain and snow through the week and through the weekend," the office said.
In Southern California, where downtown Los Angeles had a Sunday high of 84 degrees (28.8 Celsius), clear skies were forecast to become overcast ahead of the approaching storm, followed by rain Tuesday into Wednesday.
"The storm door will remain open through the rest of the week with a chance of rain every day," the region's forecast office said.
Drought-stricken California's mountain snowpack, a key part of the state's water supply, is off to a good start. But experts remain cautious. Last winter had a similar start and then turned extraordinarily dry January through March, the months that normally bring the most rain and snow.