California devastated by ‘atmospheric rivers’ of precipitation — and could be hit with 30 inches of snow by Friday
California precipitation forecast (screengrab)

The state of California is being devastated by "atmospheric rivers" of precipitation that are battering the state.

"California is on track to get more rain in a week than it sees in two months, all from unseasonal storm systems rolling through," KTLA-TV reports. "The National Weather Service's San Francisco office said that through May 22 the state is expected to get 150-200% of its normal monthly rainfall."

"Atmospheric rivers suck up water vapor from the ocean, transport it along narrow regions in the atmosphere and then dump precipitation in massive amounts on land, supercharging storm systems," the station explained. "While the lower elevations will see rainfall, the Sierra Nevada will see even more snowfall. Some areas could see up to 30 inches of snow through Friday morning."

Three atmospheric rivers in a single week have resulted in precipitation records.

"The first atmospheric river moved through on Wednesday and is already dissipating. Before it did, it set daily rainfall records across the state. Venado, California, got 5 inches in one day. That total obliterated the Northern California town's previous record of 1.08 inches," KTLA-TV noted.