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WEATHER: First Rain Hits Sacramento Area Since Early January

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – It hadn’t rained in the Sacramento Valley since Jan. 6, but drops finally started falling again Wednesday afternoon.

The Sacramento area is well behind normal January rainfall totals. Sacramento so far only has had three-fourths of an inch of rain and we normally average about 2.5 inches for January, according to meteorologist Brooke Bingaman with the National Weather Service.

However, because of a very wet November and December, we are still 125 percent above normal for the season.

Although plenty of cloud cover rolled in, the rain stayed away during the morning commute. The drive home should be a wet one, however.

Moisture is moving in west of Vacaville. We’re also seeing a couple of showers toward Redding and Mt. Shasta, but no snow yet from this system, which is coming up southwest from the coast.

The system is expected to bring .25 to .75 of an inch of rain in the Central Valley and 2 to 4 inches of snow in the mountains. Locations above 7,000 feet could see as much as a foot.

We’ll start to see rain Wednesday afternoon into the evening, with the majority of it between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m.

This system won’t have a major impact on temperatures. The Sierra will have snow Wednesday, turning to rain as temperatures drop overnight.

However, another system is expected this weekend with colder temperatures and lower snow elevations.

Donner Lake featured a rare sight as it was covered in a sheet of ice for the first time in five years.

Neighbors say they see many early in the morning cutting up the ice, crossing the cracks, skidding through slush, and according to law enforcement, risking their lives.

CBS13 caught up with Placer County’s dive team practicing rescues. They say the lake’s current constantly changes, and its depth dips rapidly from shallow to more than 300 feet.

Another storm will cause the water to re-freeze the crushed ice and cubes on the rocks, but rescuers warn that a deep lake in unsettled weather means skating on it is just unsettling.

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