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Fox News Weather Center

Rainstorms to increase flood risk across California into early next week

Storms will bring additional rounds of rain and mountain snow across California through early next week before a change in the weather pattern arrives for the West Coast.

Following mainly quiet weather during Tuesday and Wednesday, rain returned to portions of northern California during Wednesday night and will continue through Thursday night.

"The storm through Thursday will focus on the northern portions of the state, including Eureka, Redding and San Francisco," AccuWeather Meteorologist Ryan Adamson said.

The steadiest and heaviest rain is likely to reach San Francisco during the afternoon commute.

Enough rain could fall to create areas of flash flooding and mudslides. Areas at greatest risk for flooding will be in the recent burn scar areas from wildfires.

The strongest storm will take shape on Friday as moderate to heavy rain will roll across much of the state. The storm on Friday will bring the highest chance of rain across Southern California. Even a few rumbles of thunder are possible.

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"The Friday storm will focus more on central and Southern California," Adamson said. "Over 0.50 of an inch of rain could fall in Los Angeles and San Diego."

Storms spanning the weekend will be mainly focused on the northern and central portions of the state. Rain will be heavy enough to increase the risk of flooding, especially in the northern regions. Little, if any, rain will make it into Southern California.

"The storms this weekend will bring heavy rain across northern California and heavy snow in the Sierra Nevada," Adamson said. Over 6 inches of rain could fall across portions of northern California through the weekend.

Enough cold air will be present for feet of snow to fall in the Sierra Nevada, which will help in the availability of water during the spring and summer months.

Strong winds will be confined to the northern California coast.

Following the storms this weekend, a shift in the weather pattern could leave a large portion of California rain-free until the final days of March.

A strong area of high pressure is expected to reach the West Coast early next week and will hinder any storms from reaching California for several days.

There is the potential for storms to return in the state during the last week of March.

San Francisco and Sacramento have already received a month's worth of rain in the first week of March. However, any additional rainfall will be beneficial in combating the ongoing drought, especially following the lack of rain during February.