The second storm, forecasters say, could bring thunder and dump up to 2 inches of rain in central and southern valleys, 2 to 4 inches in the foothills and up to 6 inches in some mountain spots.
State water officials plan Thursday to survey the anemic mountain snow pack, and will likely find that California's precipitation is badly lagging what's needed to quench the region's thirst. 2013 was California's driest year on record.
In Nevada, the first of back-to-back storms dropped several inches of snow at Lake Tahoe and up to a foot and one-half on the mountain ridges.
A winter weather advisory was put into effect from 4 p.m. Wednesday to 10 a.m. Thursday for the Reno-Tahoe area, south to Mammoth Lakes.
The second wave of wetter weather begins Friday night into Saturday.
You can expect cooler, wet weather over the next day or so in parched Northern California.
A search and rescue team from Sacramento has been working at the site of a deadly mud slide in Washington state for more than a week. Capital Public Radio talked with one of the members of the crew.
(AP) -- Several tornadoes touched down during storms in Northern California Wednesday, including one twister near Sacramento that damaged a dozen homes and left a path of debris about 300 yards long.
Update: The National Weather Service reported severe weather and tornado warnings in the region Wednesday evening. Hazards included hail, lightning, and strong winds, and at least one funnel cloud sighting. The tornado warning has been cancelled.
Forecasters are predicting that the rain falling in drought-stricken Northern California may be the beginning of the longest stretch of wet weather yet this year.