The National Weather Service says a couple of different storms will move through Northern California between now and Monday.
"One (storm) Friday night and another through the weekend and together those could bring a fair amount of precipation, said Mike Smith, a Meteorologist with the National Weather Service. "We're looking at at least a couple of feet of snow at the higher elevations."
Smith said it won't make a big dent in the drought, but it's encouraging. "We still have a long ways to go. We're still quite a ways below normal -- from where we should be obviously-- but every little bit helps. It'll get us going in the right direction at least."
The National Weather Service says the first storm could include snow down to about 2500 feet. The second is expected to come in Saturday and be wetter and warmer, bringing heavy rain, as well as snow above 6000 feet.
Smith says Sacramento has gotten only about 16 percent of the rainfall it would normally get by now this season. He says the new storms may bring that up to 20 percent or so.
He adds that next week could bring that up even more. "It does look like we are going to go right back into a wet pattern, so at least for the middle or latter part of next week it does look like we are going to be getting some more precipitation."
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Low Elevation Snow Thursday through Friday, then Moderate to Heavy Rain with Rising Snow Levels this Weekend
- Periods of Hazardous Travel, Chain Controls, and Travel Delays likely in the mountains
- Debris Flows possible over Burn Scars
- Urban / Small Stream Flooding possible during periods of heavier rain
- High Confidence in Impacts
- Medium Confidence in Timing, Amounts, and Coverage
Timing and Strength
- Thursday through early Friday: Moderate snow accumulations possible. Snow levels in the 1000-2000 ft range along the Shasta County mountains and 2500-3500 ft range along the west slopes of the Northern Sierra.
- Late Friday through Sunday: Moderate to occasionally heavy rain. Snow levels will rise from 4000 ft on Friday to above 7000 ft by Sunday with heavy snow expected above snow levels.
A series of low pressure systems will bring much needed rain and snow Thursday through the weekend. The first system will arrive Thursday, bringing generally light showers to the Valley and possibly moderate snow accumulations over the mountains. This first system is quite cold and should bring snow levels down into the foothills.
The second system will be much wetter, with periods of moderate to heavy precipitation late Friday through the weekend. The tricky aspect of this second system will be rising snow levels. It is likely that the mountain passes will see heavy snow late Friday and Saturday, possibly switch over to rain on Sunday, then change back to snow by late Sunday.