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Wind-driven storm threatens River Cats home opener tonight

Rain returns to the Sacramento region

Sacramento commuters saw light rain on their way to work Thursday morning, prompting many to break out their umbrellas once again. Heavier rain is expected Thursday night and Friday, along with strong winds.
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Sacramento commuters saw light rain on their way to work Thursday morning, prompting many to break out their umbrellas once again. Heavier rain is expected Thursday night and Friday, along with strong winds.

Opening night for the Sacramento River Cats on Thursday at Raley Field could be a rain-out – and the weather while we sleep tonight is expected to be very gusty and wet.

The River Cats game at the West Sacramento ballpark starts at 7:05 p.m. against the Tacoma Raniers, a Northwest team that knows something about rainy conditions, and that’s what the National Weather Service predicts.

NWS meteorologists say showers are likely during daylight hours Thursday before the storm moves in from the Pacific with its big punch Thursday night. Winds will pick up and could gust as high as 50 mph overnight, and up to an inch of rain is expected.

The strongest and most damaging winds are likely to occur between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., according to the NWS. Wind and rain are expected to continue Friday, with both losing intensity.

Snow levels in the Sierra will be near the higher pass level into early Friday, then will drop to lover elevations as colder air settles in, especially Saturday. Several feet of snow are forecast for higher elevations.

LIVE TRAFFIC: Real-time conditions on Sacramento-area highways

The detailed, seven-day forecast for Sacramento from the NWS:

Thursday: Scattered showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 66 degrees. Calm wind becoming northwest 5 to 9 mph in the afternoon. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

Thursday night: Rain. Low around 54. West-southwest wind 8 to 13 mph becoming south-southeast 24 to 34 mph in the evening. Winds could gust as high as 50 mph. New precipitation amounts between three quarters and one inch possible.

Friday: Showers likely, with thunderstorms also possible after 11 a.m. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 64. Breezy, with a south wind around 23 mph, with gusts as high as 34 mph. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Friday night: Showers. Low around 49. South wind 14 to 21 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

Saturday: A chance of showers, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after 11 a.m. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 59. South wind 15 to 21 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70 percent.

Saturday night: A 20 percent chance of showers. Partly cloudy, with a low around 40.

Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 64.

Sunday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 43.

Monday: Partly sunny, with a high near 70.

Monday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 49.

Tuesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 71.

Tuesday night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 51.

Wednesday: A slight chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 70.

Caltrans shares important tips for motorists heading to higher elevations this winter. The video also introduced drivers to Caltrans' new method of identifying chain installers who have been permitted and trained by Caltrans. Public Information Of

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews

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