Schools and colleges across Northern California canceled Thursday classes in anticipation of a powerful storm that is expected to bring heavy winds, snow and several inches of rain.
The San Francisco and Oakland school districts canceled Thursday classes and the Novato Unified School District in Marin County closed its schools for the rest of the week, district officials announced. Schools near Chico in Glenn County also canceled school for Thursday.
Calling the decision to cancel school a serious one, San Francisco Unified School District Supt. Richard A. Carranza said in a statement that storms might bring power outages and jeopardize students' safety.
"We don't want to risk having our students injured or seriously delayed transporting to and from school," Carranza said.
San Joaquin Delta College announced that its three campuses around the Stockton area were closed until Friday morning, when final exams were scheduled.
As much as 8 inches of rain could drench the Bay Area starting Wednesday night, while wind gusts were forecast to exceed 50 mph, according to the National Weather Service.
Higher elevations could see 10 inches to 20 inches of snow, possibly forcing roadway closures, while winds might exceed 80 mph.