You'll recollect this is an El Nino year, and California was supposed to get a lot of rain but, through the end of February, it had fallen far short of predictions. In March El Nino finally arrived, at least in Northern California.
The so-called Pineapple Express is bringing one warm, wet storm after another through Northern California in March. Our reservoirs are beginning to fill from the run-off, and it is supposed to rain more or less all weekend. We may yet get what is considered normal rainfall for the year.
For non-California residents, understand that rain falls here, if ever, only between November and April. Unlike everything east of the Rockies, we get next-to-no summer thunderstorms or monsoon.
Basically there is no rain in CA all summer long, year after year. If our winter isn't wet, we have a drought.
Southern California is staying mostly dry, these storms aren't much wetting the south. That isn't as disastrous as it sounds, much of their water flows south through giant aqueducts from Northern California which always gets more rain.