SACRAMENTO — The National Weather Service is predicting rain in the north valley and snow in the mountains along with high winds as a storm moves into Northern California.
In the north valley, much-needed rain is expected to soak the valley floor. The weather service predicts 2 to 5 inches of rain, with the heaviest rainfall Sunday night into Monday. Another 0.3 to 1.1 inches are expected Wednesday through Thursday.
The foothills could get between 4 and 8 inches of rain below the snowline.
The southern Cascades and northern Sierra Nevada are expected to get snow through Thursday, according to a news release from the National Weather Service. The heaviest snowfall is expected from Sunday night through Tuesday morning.
On Sunday and Monday the the weather service predicted snow levels would reach between 3,500 and 5,000 feet elevation. Monday through Tuesday, that level is expected to drop to 2,500 to 4,000 feet and Tuesday through Wednesday, the snow level is expected to drop to 1,500 to 3,000 feet. The weather service thinks 2 to 5 feet of snow will stick above 4,000 feet.
The rest of the Sierra Nevada could see 1 to 2 feet of snow above 4,000 feet and 4 to 12 inches above 3,000 feet, according to the weather service. Snow levels should reach 2,000 to 3,500 feet Wednesday and rise to 3,500 to 4,000 feet overnight Wednesday.
The heavy snow could be a good thing in areas that have burned. The weather service said in the release that “lower snow levels will alleviate burn scar-related debris flow issues above 4,000 feet.”
But strong winds will threaten weakened or burned trees and may cause power outages. The weather service also says winds will make for difficult driving conditions.
In the valley and foothills, gusts between 35 and 50 mph are expected with isolated gusts up to 55 mph.
In the mountains, gusts are expected between 40 and 55 mph with the wind blowing as fast as 70 mph at the ridgetops and mountain peaks.
The National Weather Service recommends people clean out their gutters and storm drains and check their vehicles’ tires, wiper blades, fluids and lights. It also says people should carry chains and winterize vehicles if they are planning on driving in the mountains.
Secure loose objects, stay clear of trees and downed power lines, have phones charged and prepare for possible power outages, the weather service says.