The National Weather Service says Tuesday through Thursday, about a half-an-inch of rain is expected in the valley with an inch or so of rain in the foothills.
Mike Smith with the Weather Service in Sacramento says there's also a chance of thunderstorms and even a tornado.
"This is probably a pretty normal winter storm for a normal season, so it's not going to help a whole lot; it's just one system," says Smith. "The good news is, we do have more on the way. We're expecting more rain coming up this weekend and then possibly some more even going into next week."
He says the region is still a long way from normal when it comes to precipitation - but there's positive news in the forecast.
Smith says the storm is also likely to bring a foot or two of snow to the Sierra. He says gusty winds are possible, and there's a winter storm warning in effect from 3 p.m. today through Thursday morning.
A winter storm is forecast to bring mostly rain in the Sierra Nevada Friday, with high snow levels. But Saturday, snow is expected at lower elevations.
The National Weather Service in Sacramento has issued an urban and small stream flood advisory for several counties in the region including: Sacramento, Yolo, Calaveras, Amador, San Joaquin and Stanislaus.
UPDATE 9 a.m.: The thousand-mile coast of California is covered in warnings, watches and advisories for rain, flooding and high surf as another El Nino storm moves in from the Pacific. Winter weather advisories are also in effect in Nevada.
Several storm systems queued off the coast will bring several inches of rain to the Sacramento Valley this week.
(AP) - Parts of California remain in the grip of a cold spell. The National Weather Service issued a hard freeze warning for much of the San Joaquin Valley through 10 a.m. Thursday.