While Sacramento will probably get only a light rain this weekend, the Sierra could see winter return with several feet of fresh snow that could make highway travel a chore.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for the mountains beginning Saturday afternoon. Weather service meteorologists note that motorists headed to the mountains Friday will travel under clear skies.
However, if skiers, snowboarders and snow-park sledders return home Sunday and Monday, the wind will likely be blowing at 30 mph and snow falling hard.
Light snow accumulations could occur between the 1,500- and 3,000-feet elevation level. Snow totals above 3,000-feet elevation will range from 4 inches to 3 feet.
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Rain totals in the valley, including Sacramento, will range from 0.40 of an inch to a little over an inch. The storm will diminish Monday.
The seven-day forecast for the Sacramento region from the NWS:
Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 65. Calm wind becoming south southwest around 5 mph in the afternoon.
Friday night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 45. South southwest wind 5 to 7 mph.
Saturday: A 40 percent chance of rain after 11 a,m. Partly sunny, with a high near 60. South wind 7 to 13 mph. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.
Saturday night: Rain likely. Cloudy, with a low around 47. South wind 15 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70 percent. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.
Sunday: Rain likely, mainly before 5 p.m. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 55. Southwest wind around 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70 percent.
Sunday night: A 50 percent chance of rain, mainly after 11 p.m. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 40.
Monday: A 50 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 56.
Monday night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 41.
Tuesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 61.
Tuesday night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 42.
Wednesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 66.
Wednesday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 46.
Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 68.