After record rainfall Friday, storm expected to wind down Saturday

Watch the rain pour down in Midtown during spring storm

Rain pelted Sacramento Friday in an intense storm that is expected to continue through the weekend. The NWS has issued a flood warning for Sacramento through Sunday afternoon.
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Rain pelted Sacramento Friday in an intense storm that is expected to continue through the weekend. The NWS has issued a flood warning for Sacramento through Sunday afternoon.

Rain fell steadily through much of the day Friday as a warm atmospheric river swept through the Sacramento Valley, and more was expected overnight before tapering off by mid-morning Saturday.

The National Weather Service announced that by 2 p.m. Friday, downtown Sacramento had received 1.09 inches of rain, breaking the daily precipitation record for April 6 of 1.04 inches, set last year.

As of 5 p.m., the downtown total for the date was 1.17 inches, said Jim Mathews, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. Sacramento Executive Airport recorded 1.25 inches.

Elsewhere in the region, Folsom reported 1.8 inches; Rocklin, 1.66 inches; Davis, 0.81 inches; and the Grass Valley and Nevada City areas, between 2 and 3 inches, Mathews said.

More rain, accompanied by winds of 20 to 30 mph, was expected during the early morning hours Saturday as the front passed through. But people who sleep in Saturday likely will miss the worst of the storm.

A chance of showers and some isolated thunderstorms are forecast for Saturday afternoon and into Saturday evening. But fair weather should return Sunday, with a high near 70 degrees, Mathews said, and the high Monday is expected to be near 80 degrees.

Friday's rain contributed to high water flows in area creeks and streams. The Del Paso Park picnic area, off Auburn Boulevard in the Arden Arcade area, was flooded.

Late Friday morning, a man was rescued from a swollen Chicken Ranch Slough, a drainage channel, near the 2000 block of Hurley Way in the Arden Arcade area by Sgt. Ben Murphy of the Los Rios Police Department. Murphy heard someone calling for help and spotted the man on the steep-banked slough. He jumped into the channel and was able to get the man to safety with the help of firefighters.

The federal Bureau of Reclamation will increase Folsom Dam’s flows into the American River this weekend, prompting the closure of Discovery Park and Howe Avenue vehicle access roads and parking lots Friday morning.

A flood warning has been issued for the Cosumnes River at Michigan Bar south of Elk Grove, where forecasters are predicting the water level will double from Friday morning to noon Saturday but still fall just short of the 12-foot flooding threshold.

Since Monday, Sacramento County parks officials have been urging homeless people living along the banks of the American River to move to higher ground.

Crews also have worked hard to remove trash and remnants of encampments before rising water washed it downriver, said Jeff Leatherman, the county's regional parks director.

He said 20 tons of trash were pulled out of the parkway last week alone.

"We are seeing some localized flooding, mostly along Discovery Park," Leatherman said Friday.

A warm atmospheric river crept into the Sacramento Valley on Thursday evening and is expected to linger through the weekend, dousing inland Northern California with an unseasonably large amount of rain but little snow.

With mountain temperatures expected to linger into the 50s during the storm’s most intense period, snow levels will be above 9,000 feet before dropping Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. Mountain passes are expected to see 1 to 6 inches of snow total.

"We don't look for impactful snowfall amounts," Mathews said.

Colder, weaker systems are on the horizon for next Tuesday and Thursday, though no precipitation predictions have been released for those storms.

The Placer County Sheriff's Office posted a video Wednesday showing the rushing waters of the Truckee River ahead of a flood warning for residents of Placer County this Friday and Saturday. The river is already at near-flood levels.

Benjy Egel: (916) 321-1052, @BenjyEgel

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