Photo by Brennon Dixson

Associated Press

Rain fell heavily on parts of Southern California on Thursday as a low-pressure system drew subtropical moisture into the region at the tail-end of an extremely dry winter.

Flood advisories were issued for western parts of San Diego, Riverside and Orange counties, and flood watches were in effect for mountains and deserts to the east.

Some high elevation mountains could get “substantial” snow by Friday, forecasters said.

The next weather system is expected to begin bringing rain and snow to Northern California during the weekend and reach the southern half of the state by Monday.

With spring just a week away, California is way below normal winter rain and snowfall levels.

The U.S. Drought Monitor report issued Thursday shows more than 48% of California now in moderate drought and another 30% characterized as abnormally dry after January and February passed with precipitation far below normal.

Moderate drought covers most of the Central Valley and the Sierra Nevada, extending north to the Oregon border and west to part of the north coast, the San Francisco Bay Area and south to the Los Angeles and Central Coast regions.

A swath of southeastern California extending west to San Diego remains free of drought or abnormal dryness.

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