A windy rainstorm today snarled highway traffic, knocked out power lines and caused numerous delays for holiday travelers.
With the National Weather Service predicting on-and-off rainstorms for the next several days, including Christmas, police and emergency crews were dealing with felled trees and other problems.
Some 15 power outages were reported by SMUD at mid-afternoon, affecting a total of 3,200 customers from Elk Grove to North Highlands. A power outage in Rio Linda affected some 1,200 customers, but most had their power restored by mid-afternoon.
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. also reported power failures with 500 customers in Chico and 140 in Colusa losing electricity.
Chain controls were reported at various times on the major highways in the Sierra Nevada, and westbound traffic on I-80 was being held at mid-afternoon.
The weather service had a winter storm warning in effect until late for the western slope of the Northern Sierra, stretching from Amador County to Shasta National Forest.
Trees were reported down in Elk Grove, Lodi and elsewhere, but no major incidents were reported.
Flash flood warnings were issued for portions of Sonoma and Napa counties as several creeks approached flood stage.
Numerous flights were delayed at Sacramento International Airport one of the season's busiest travel days, although airport spokeswoman Karen Doron said the delays were all caused by weather in other cities, not Sacramento.
A pair of early-afternoon flights to Denver were running nearly three hours late.
George Cline, a forecaster with the weather service in Sacramento, said rainfall for December was running above normal, but was unlikely to set any records.
Sacramento is in the midst of consecutive storms, Cline said. While the capital city has already had 12 days of measureable rain in December - and Cline foresees several more wet days this week - there hasn't been widespread flooding.
Overall, rainfall is above normal for the month - but it isn't threatening the record books. And to Cline, that isn't a bad thing.
"We're a little above normal. You don't want to break records," Cline said. "Breaking records is never a good thing."
So far, Sacramento has accumulted 4.72 inches of rain in December - nearly twice as much as the historical average. The wettest December on the books was in 1852 when 13.40 inches of rain fell.
Still, Sacramento's rainy season, which typically produces 6.36 inches of rain to this point, has reached 10.39 inches and climbing. That about 160 percent more than the average.
While it may feel like every day is wet lately, that's not the case. Sacramento is only approaching half of that this month.
For the record, it rained 23 days in Sacramento in December 1889.