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
Some areas in the Sacramento region will have to reduce water use by 36 percent under proposed emergency drought rules from state water regulators. How urban suppliers will reach that goal varies. Enforcement is likely to increase everywhere.
(AP) - State regulators are ordering some farms to stop pumping from streams for the second year in a row.
As California enters the dry season, the latest U.S. Drought Monitor report shows one category expanding.
In spite of a California Appeals Court ruling, customers of private water suppliers may still have tiered rates based on usage, not on cost, and customers of private utilities may still see their rates go up.
California Governor Jerry Brown is calling on local water agencies to adjust their pricing structures as a way to promote conservation. But a state court ruling issued today could undermine those efforts.