More thunderstorms, rain for California

More rain and snow has fallen during the weekend in storm-battered California, making travel dangerous and prompting new evacuation orders over flooding concerns along a swollen river near Sacramento.

Bands of thunderstorms with gusty winds started Saturday in the north and spread south, with yet another atmospheric river storm following close behind Sunday, the National Weather Service said.

Up to five centimetres of rain was predicted for the saturated Sacramento Valley, where residents of semi-rural Wilton, home to about 5000 people, were ordered to evacuate as the Cosumnes River continued to rise.

Gusty winds and up to 90 centimetres of snow were expected in the Sierra Nevada, where the weather service warned of hazardous driving conditions.

The California Highway Patrol rescued three people whose car slid off a rain-slicked road and ended up teetering at the edge of a cliff in the Santa Cruz Mountains on Friday.

The swollen Salinas River swamped farmland in Monterey County. To the east, flood warnings were in effect for Merced County in the agricultural Central Valley, where Governor Gavin Newsom visited Saturday to take stock of problems and warn of still more possible danger.

"We're not done," Newsom said.

He urged people to be vigilant about safety for a few more days, when the last of a parade of nine atmospheric rivers was expected to move through.

In Southern California, winter storm warnings and advisories were in place for mountain areas, where many roads remained impassable because of mud and rock slides.

Downtown Los Angeles set a rainfall record Saturday with 4.6cm, the weather service said.

The series of storms has dumped rain and snow on California since late December, cutting power to thousands, swamping roads, unleashing debris flows, and triggering landslides.

President Joe Biden declared a major disaster in the state and ordered federal aid to supplement local recovery efforts in affected areas.

At least 19 storm-related deaths have occurred, and a five-year-old boy remained missing after being swept out of his mother's car by floodwaters in San Luis Obispo County.

Dry days are in this week's forecast for California starting on Tuesday.