(KTXL) — The dry weather will end just in time for the Tuesday evening commute as rain reenters the Sacramento region.
A winter weather advisory will go into effect at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Sierra, the National Weather Service reported. The advisory is expected to be upgraded to a winter storm warning Wednesday at 4 a.m. as the snowfall intensifies.
Periods of rain in the valley and foothills and snow in the Sierra will continue each day through at least Sunday.
Forecasters noted that this week’s storms will also have potential for significant low-elevation snow, including over Interstate 5 north of Redding.
The successive waves of precipitation moving into Northern California will coat parts of the Sierra with 1 to 5 feet of snow, and possibly up to 8 feet at some higher elevations, the National Weather Service said.
The mountain range, where ski resorts had struggled to open this fall, is already sporting glistening peaks after recent storms.
The snowfall is important because the Sierra’s winter snowpack normally is a significant source of California’s water.
After a series of mid-December tempests, California’s overall snow-water equivalent — a measurement of how much water is in the snowpack — jumped from 19% of normal to date on Dec. 10 to 76% of normal on Dec. 17, according to the latest U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook.
While the current wet trend is positive, it is too early to know if it will last through January and February. The snowpack normally doesn’t reach its maximum until April, and last spring there was minimal runoff because much of the water was absorbed by the drought-parched landscape.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.