SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — Drought-stricken California is getting some help from the weather, although forecasters say the rain and snow will not be enough to make up for one of the driest rainy seasons so far.

Rain was falling on Thursday morning in San Francisco. Light rain was forecast for Southern California as well.

In the northern Sierra, the National Weather Service was forecasting as much 10 inches of snow at higher elevations.

But that’s just the beginning — at least in Northern California. Forecasters say a stronger system will move in over the weekend, dumping as much as 7 inches of rain on Bay Area mountains and two feet of snow in the Sierra.

While the overdue wet weather is welcome, forecasters say California needs much more precipitation to even reach normal rainfall levels.

Stockton and Modesto saw heavy rainfall this morning.

The rain started Wednesday night, so far dropping .3 of an inch in the valley. We’d had steady rain showers this morning near Willows, Yuba City and along Highway 50. Rain was falling steadily in the foothills near Plymouth and Jackson.

Snow is falling just above the 3,000-foot level, just below Pollock Pines.

We’ll see showers on and off for the rest of the day. With each round of moisture, warmer air will arrive. As a result, snow levels will slowly rise over the weekend.

We’ll see impressive rain through the weekend, with the bulk of it on Saturday, beginning in the afternoon.

After the storms pass, we’ll see a total of two to five inches in the valley, three to five inches in the foothills and one to three feet of snow in the mountains.

Drought-Related Coverage

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or Redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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