PLACER COUNTY -- Heavy rain, pounding waves and plenty of snow in the mountains are all in the forecast as Northern Californians brace for a weekend and a holiday of wintry weather and travel delays.
As one storm system moved through the region Saturday, a second, more powerful system was expected to hit the area Sunday, forecasters said.
Wetter conditions and stronger winds will hit the East Bay and South Bay on Sunday, according to Carolina Walbrun of the National Weather Service. But, a slight reprieve in the rain will start Monday, just in time for Christmas.
However, another system will close in on Northern California on Tuesday afternoon, Walbrun added.
"The system on Tuesday will not be as strong as the one (on Sunday)," she said. "But there will be rain and there will be snow" in the mountains.
The first storm drenched the region, dropping more than an inch of rain in Redwood City in a little more than six hours early Saturday, said National Weather Service forecaster Diana Henderson.
The weather caused at least hourlong delays Saturday at San Francisco International Airport but was affecting mostly regional flights, airport duty manager Shannon Wilson said. Arriving flights were being delayed up to three-and-a-half hours Saturday evening, and about 12 flights had been canceled because of a change in the direction of prevailing winds that closed two of four runways, she said.
At Oakland International Airport, delays were reported to be roughly 40 minutes.
For those traveling to the mountains, the weather also caused some delays.
Heavy snow and wind forced the closure of Interstate 80 Saturday afternoon through Donner Pass for about three hours after a series of spinouts.
The California Highway Patrol began diverting eastbound traffic off the freeway in Colfax and stopping traffic in Truckee around 9:30 a.m. Both directions reopened shortly after noon.
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the interior mountains of Northern California, with snow accumulations of up to 5 feet possible by Sunday night. Visibility could be as low as a quarter-mile at times, with wind gusts up to 50 mph.
Highway 50 to Lake Tahoe has had no lane closures.
Along the beaches, waves up to 16 feet were expected. Forecasters urged people walking along beaches or jetties to watch for large breaking waves.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Contact Daniel Jimenez at email@example.com or follow him at Twitter.com/djmreports. Contact Katie Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her at Twitter.com/katienelson210.