By Dave Bender

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The first in a series of storms hit the Sacramento region Wednesday morning and the wet weather is expected to saturate the valley through the weekend.

Light rain is mostly expected with this first band, but isolated thunderstorms have formed with it as well. The Sacramento area should see a break in the rain Wednesday afternoon as the storm cell moves into the foothills and snow picks up in the Sierra, but the heaviest rainfall is expected Thursday.

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Gusty southerly winds are associated with this storm. Peak gusts have reached 36 mph at Sacramento International Airport. A high wind advisory was in effect until 4 p.m.

Neighbors spent part of their day raking and sweeping as the strong winds and rain didn’t just blow leaves down and around, but also split branches from trees.

As the rain continues into the weekend, mud slides are possible, especially near areas burned during the summer’s wildfires. Urban and small stream flooding will occur, with weir overflow and runoff through bypasses expected, according to the NWS. Rivers will rise noticeably and the Sacramento River will likely exceed flood stage at several locations this weekend.

As of noon, about a half inch of rain had fallen in the Sacramento area. The Sacramento Valley is expected to accumulate 4-8 inches of rain by the weekend. Some areas of Northern California could get up to 18 inches total.

The snow level in the Sierra is relatively high with these storms, 6,000 to 7,000 feet. Several Tahoe ski resorts were closed on Wednesday because of the high winds and chains are required over the mountain passes.


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