New York was pelted with record rain this week, but even more could fall on the West Coast today. California could clearly use it, but San Francisco, Oakland, and Novato could see so much rainfall—2 to 4 inches are expected in San Francisco, with up to 8 inches in the hills—that schools are being closed as residents stock up on sandbags, CNN reports. KTVU reports that Bay Area workers have been clearing storm drains ahead of the downpour, which Sky notes is being caused by the "Pineapple Express," an atmospheric river 250 to 400 miles wide that originates in Hawaii. The National Weather Service warns it could "be one of the strongest storms in terms of wind and rain" in five years, per USA Today.
"We don't want to risk having our students injured or seriously delayed transporting to and from school," a San Francisco school board superintendent tells KRON, noting "power outages could affect the district's ability to feed students." Officials cite "dire reports from the National Weather Service." The NWS warned that parts of Washington and California could see river flooding following rains last week, while winds up to 40mph and gusts up to 70mph are possible. Blizzard conditions could hit the Sierra Nevada, with winds up to 80mph. Meanwhile, on the East Coast, snow is likely to fall on New York City, which saw 3 inches of rain on Tuesday. Maine could see 10 inches of snow. (Read more weather stories.)