A wet weekend lies ahead, but the bulk of the rain should already be past after what was expected to be heavy rainfall and occasional gusting winds overnight Thursday, forecasters said.
"Santa Rosa just dipped below 79 percent of normal," National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Anderson said Thursday. "You've got to play catch-up a little bit. You're about half an inch below," he said of rainfall for the year.
Forecasters predicted 1 to 2 inches of rain in low-lying valleys of Sonoma County by Saturday, with 3 or more inches of rain in the coastal hills.
A winter storm warning also has been issued for the western and northern Sierra Nevada because of heavy snow and gusting winds expected through 6 p.m. today .
The snow level for the Sierra was forecast to be about 5,000 feet, with up to 2 feet of new snow expected in the highest elevations by Saturday, the weather service said.
Locally, there should be a bit of a break in the rain today after showers this morning, with a new front coming in tonight and Saturday morning.
It will be mostly dry Sunday with a weaker storm front in the outlook for Monday afternoon, meteorologist Bob Benjamin said.
-- Mary Callahan