A storm that dropped rain in downtown Sacramento on Fridayand brought snow to the Sierra served as a reminder of what winter weather is supposed to be.
It may not be a drought-breaker, but rain over the past couple of days boosted Sacramento’s seasonal rainfall total to 20 percent of normal, up from 16 percent earlier in the week, said Karl Swanberg, a forecaster with the National Weather Service.
“We picked up a little bit of gain,” he said.
With steady rain forecast through early Sunday, the Sacramento area could see a weekend total of 2 to 3 inches, Swanberg said.
Foothill areas such as Auburn and other parts of the Mother Lode are expected to get more than 4 inches of rain during the weekend, as a large flow of moisture off the central Pacific moves through the region.
Swanberg said snow was reported as low as 3,500 feet Friday evening, but snow levels in the Sierra were expected to rise to pass levels, around 7,500 feet, by today.
“Most of the ski resorts will receive plenty of snow,” he said. “For base building, we’re looking at 2 to 4 feet at higher elevations.”
A winter storm warning for heavy and blowing snow is in effect until noon today, and a winter storm watch is in effect for areas above 7,000 feet from this evening through late Sunday.
The prospect of heavy rains led some agencies in the Valley and Sierra, including the city of Citrus Heights and the Northstar Community Service District, to warn of high water flows in area creeks as well as the potential for street flooding.
The National Weather Service also warned that heavy rain and gusty Valley winds today could result in power outages and downed trees.
Swanberg said the heaviest period of rain in the Sacramento area is expected to occur this evening through early Sunday.
Despite steady rain, the forecast calls for mild temperatures in the Sacramento area, with a high of 57 degrees today and 62 degrees Sunday. Overnight lows are expected to be in the mid-50s.
Rain in the Valley is expected to taper off Sunday, while rain and snow in the Sierra are likely to continue into early Monday.
The coming week’s forecast for the Sacramento area calls for partly to mostly cloudy skies, highs in the mid-60s and a slight chance of showers, Swanberg said.
Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.