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Update: Storms lined up to deliver rain, snow through weekend

Video: This El Niño might be the strongest since 1997-1998

The naturally recurring phenomenon known as El Niño happens every 3 to 7 years, but no one knows exactly why it occurs, according to NASA's NOAA. This year's El Niño has made a big impact on the West Coast of the United States, with heavy rain, mu
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The naturally recurring phenomenon known as El Niño happens every 3 to 7 years, but no one knows exactly why it occurs, according to NASA's NOAA. This year's El Niño has made a big impact on the West Coast of the United States, with heavy rain, mu

Weather during the three-day Martin Luther King Jr. weekend is likely to be soggy in the Sacramento area, but ideal for skiers heading to the Sierra.

Ski resorts are welcoming the snowfall that began arriving Wednesday and is expected to continue with a series of storms forecast through Sunday.

“The snow has been falling overnight,” Northstar California resort’s Cassandra Walker said Wednesday morning. “We already have a few inches piling up. It is still coming down. It is absolutely beautiful.”

Walker said that the resort is prepared for a busy weekend, a time when families can get away for an extended visit. Northstar, near the northwest shore of Lake Tahoe, has a base of 74 inches of snow near the summit, 8,300-feet elevation.

Homewood Mountain Resort reported shortly after 3 p.m. that it had received 6 inches of new snow since 11 a.m.

In the Sacramento area, Sacramento International Airport had received 0.54 inches for the 24-hour-period as of 5 p.m. Wednesday. Executive Airport recorded 0.26 inches and downtown Sacramento, 0.23 inches, said Travis Wilson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Rainfall to date in January is above normal, although the total for the season still falls short of normal. Executive Airport’s total so far for the month is 2.53 inches compared to a normal of 1.53 inches, Wilson said. The total for the season to date is 5.97 inches, 1.84 inches shy of normal.

“But the storms that are going to come through will help with that,” Wilson said, noting that storms are lined up to arrive about every other day into early next week.

The next storm is expected Thursday afternoon, but it isn’t shaping up to be a very wet one, he said. The forecast calls for about 0.15 inches of rain in the Sacramento area.

Heavier rainfall, about 0.4 inches, is expected from the next storm system due late Friday and early Saturday.

Yet another storm is expected Sunday night.

There will be little breaks between storms. But, Wilson said, “If it’s not raining, you can expect it will rain a little after that.”

High temperatures in the Sacramento area are expected to be in the low 50s to low 60s through Sunday, with lows in the mid-40s to low-50s.

In the Lake Tahoe area, daytime highs in the mid- to upper-30s area forecast, with overnight lows from 20 and 30 degrees.

Michelle Mead, National Weather Service in Sacramento, talks about the three weather systems headed for Northern California the week of Jan. 11, 2016.

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews

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