California: More than 20 million people under alert due to atmospheric river

The moisture will cause snow in some parts of the state, while heavy rain will continue until Saturday.

More than 20 million people are under alert for heavy rain and snow in California. The situation is the result of an atmospheric river called "Pineapple Express" because its origin is near Hawaii in the tropical Pacific. Heavy rains are expected to affect the state from this Thursday and may extend through the weekend.

The alert was posted by the National Weather Service (NWS), which detailed that increased humidity will also cause snow in parts of Northern and Central California, producing heavy snowfall over the Sierra Nevada Mountains until Saturday morning.

"On Friday, the threat of excessive rainfall will end over California. However, lighter rain will continue over the West Coast through Saturday. Higher elevation snow and lower elevation rain will extend from the Northern Intermountain Region to the Southwest Overnight Thursday into Friday. Overnight Friday, snow moves into the Rockies, continuing into Saturday," the NWS explained.