The National Weather Service says a significant storm will bring between a quarter and a half-an-inch of rain to the valley and up to 2.5 inches of rain to the Sierra.
David Rowe with the weather service says there will be snow too.
"Probably about a foot to a foot and a half at the ski areas and maybe 2 to 3 inches down to about 4,500 feet," says Rowe.
Rowe says there are also flooding concerns in areas scarred by wildfire last summer -- for example the Rim Fire near Yosemite.
"When you get heavy rainfall intensity in a short amount of time, you tend to get mud and dust and debris left over from the fires last summer that'll accumulate and run downhill," he says.
Rowe says this will be a significant storm, but the region needs a series of these storms to start recovering from the drought. He says the forecast is dry again for the weekend and early next week.
Rowe urges valley commuters to use caution, especially Thursday morning, when the roads are likely to be slick, and says chains will likely be required in the Sierra.
The weather is about to change. Attached is the NOAA prediction for snow onI-80. Be prepared for winter driving. pic.twitter.com/kEvvfGXHAo— Caltrans District 3 (@D3PIO) January 28, 2014
It’s been almost a year since the King Fire scorched almost 100,000 acres of the Sierra Nevada forest. But this wildfire season could be worse - and it’s not just the drought and high temperatures that are fueling wildfires.
The on-going drought is making work harder for crews working to contain the Rocky Fire in Lake, Yolo and Colusa counties.
Even though it's August, there are many streets in Sacramento that look like it's fall. Parched trees are losing their leaves early as a result of the drought. The city is sponsoring a campaign called "Mulch Madness" to save stressed trees.
Three workshops are scheduled in Truckee to give people a voice in developing a 'brand' for the town.
The weather forecast through the weekend includes thunderstorms and lightning for parts of northern California, which could spark new wildfires.