Four straight days of rain have replenished several key reservoirs in Northern California, delighting a state in its fifth year of drought and raising hopes that water-use restrictions might be eased.
The series of storms that started late last week drenched the state, closing roads and schools while causing flooding and power outages.
Northern California was the hardest hit over four days. Other parts of the state saw the heaviest rainfall late last week.
Forecasters had issued an avalanche warning that expired Monday along the crest of the Sierra Nevada, where the highest peaks received up to 5 feet of snow over the weekend. The snowpack normally stores about 30 percent of the state’s water supply.
As the latest storm weakened, warm temperatures and blue skies were forecast throughout California during the rest of the week.
The El Nino-related storms led to the death Sunday of a highway patrol officer who was struck while directing traffic on a snowy Sierra Nevada freeway.
Full reservoirs and lush snowpack in Northern California are critical for the entire state as the water eventually flows to the agriculture rich Central Valley and densely populated Southern California, which has seen relatively little rain this winter.