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Storms expected to bring heavy rain, wallop parts of Northern California

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SAN FRANCISCO — A series of storms was headed toward Northern California Friday and could bring more rain to parts of the region in one weekend than they have seen so far this season, forecasters said.

As much as three inches of rain could fall on San Francisco from early Saturday morning through Sunday, National Weather Service forecaster Diana Henderson said. The city has received about 2½ inches of rain since July.

Elsewhere in Northern California, up to a foot of snow was forecast over the weekend at higher elevations in the Sierra Nevada, and coastal mountains could see as much as five inches of rain. The weather was expected to remain unsettled through much of the week.

"It would be fantastic to see a really big storm," Jeff Powell told the San Jose Mercury News (http://bit.ly/1pwsJfA). Powell was cleaning the roofs and decks that will capture water for his 25,000-gallon water storage system in the Santa Cruz Mountains. He estimated one inch of rain would provide 600 gallons of water.

Forecasters say the rain and snow totals may get the region closer to normal precipitation levels for the season, but will not ease the ongoing drought. San Francisco should have a little more than four inches of rain by now, Henderson said.

The Northern Sierra, meanwhile, has received about six inches of precipitation since Oct. 1, about 67 percent of normal, National Weather Service forecaster Holly Osborne said. Both San Francisco and the Northern Sierra have received more precipitation than they did over the same period last year.

"These systems are not going to alleviate the drought," Henderson said. "It will move us closer to normal, but we have a long way to go."

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