- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 1, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A cold storm system that promises up to 1 foot of snow in the Sierra Nevada and steady showers in the San Francisco Bay Area is moving into California.

Rain, accompanied by thunder and lightning, began falling in San Francisco on Monday afternoon.

The National Weather Service expects the stormy weather to last through Wednesday. The northern Sierra could see 8 to 10 inches of snow with up to 2 feet in the higher peaks. Snow could fall at low elevations down to 2,500 feet.

Farther south, the Central Valley and Southern California are expected to get between a quarter and half an inch of rain. Forecasters warned drivers of strong winds Monday along Interstate 5 in the Central Valley.

Another weaker storm system may hit California on late Thursday and continue into Friday.

Monday’s storm also brought lightning that struck several planes, KRON-TV reported, including five at San Francisco International Airport and one Alaska Airlines flight from Portland, Ore., to Oakland, Calif.

Air officials said Monday that planes are designed to withstand lightning strikes and that no one on board was harmed.

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