"'El Nino' is back, this time bringing with it disastrous rainstorms throughout California. The warm Pacific current spawned an unusual series of storms from January 5 through 26, 1995, that caused heavy, prolonged, and, in some cases, unprecedented precipitation across California. This series of storms resulted in widespread minor to record-breaking floods from Santa Barbara to the Oregon border. Several stream-gaging stations used to measure the water levels in streams and rivers recorded the largest peaks in the history of their operation."
U.S. Geological Survey: http://www.usgs.gov/