Storm Promising Heavy Rain Rolls into California

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Drought-stricken California is getting its first glimpse of a big weekend storm system the likes of which, forecasters say, the region has not seen in more than a year.

The rain and snow is expected to be confined to Northern and Central California. Light rain was already falling on Friday morning in San Francisco, and snow was coming down in the Sierra.

The brunt of the storm, however, was expected in the evening and then through the weekend.

The National Weather Service says northern San Francisco Bay Area could see as much as nine inches of rain. In the Sierra, up to four feet of snow is expected at elevations above 7,000 feet.

Forecasters say the region will still remain well off its average annual precipitation numbers. But they are hopeful the storm indicates the start of a more normal rainfall pattern.