Parts of Central and Northern California received up to nine inches of snow Sunday from a spring storm, and a second storm is expected to bring more rain to the dry region.
The cold storm started in the Gulf of Alaska and traveled along the Pacific Northwest coast before moving inland Sunday. It dumped an inch of snow in some Northern California valleys and seven to nine inches of snow in the region's mountains and foothills, said Brooke Bingaman, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sacramento.
Though it brought snow to the parched region, rain totals were dismal – anywhere from a few hundredths to one-quarter of an inch.
But a second storm moving into Northern California on Monday night could deliver up to two inches of rain and is expected to deposit more than six inches of snow in communities 4,000 feet or above, Bingaman said.
Higher elevations in the Sierra Nevada could get up to two feet of snow.
"This will be a much wetter system for us" in Northern California, she said, adding that the snow will help feed area reservoirs.
And for some ski resorts, new snow means a longer ski season.
Heavenly Mountain ski resort says snow will be available for at least two more weeks.
Gov. Jerry Brown called for a first-ever mandatory water usage cut of 25% in California last week after water officials measured the lowest April 1 snowpack recorded in the Sierra Nevada.
According to NASA, 88 of the 123 snow-measuring "pillows" statewide did not have snow. At this time of year, snow accumulation is usually at its peak.
The second storm is expected to move out of Northern California by Tuesday and into Los Angeles and Ventura counties by late afternoon that day.
It could bring several hours of steady rainfall with up to a half-inch of rain in the mountains, meteorologist Scott Sukup said.
The rain will be enough to soak the ground but will dry out in a few days, he said.
"Every little bit we can get helps, but it's not going to have major impact on the drought," Sukup said.
Southern Californians should expect higher temperatures Wednesday and Thursday.
On Friday, a low-pressure system could bring another round of rain, he said.