Sunshine could briefly return to the Modesto area on Christmas Eve, easing travel in advance of the holiday.
The National Weather Service expected the rain to end around 10 a.m. Friday, with the area “gradually becoming sunny” in the afternoon.
Rain will return Saturday, with up to half an inch in the Modesto area. Sunday looks to be partly cloudy before showers return at about 5 p.m.
Winds could blow at 20 to 25 miles per hour in the Northern San Joaquin Valley and Sierra Nevada foothills. Gusts up to 60 mph are possible higher up.
The Weather Service forecasts 1 to 2 inches of rain in Modesto between Christmas Eve and Dec. 30. Sonora could get 3 to 4 inches.
This storms will add even more snow to the very white Christmas in the Sierra. Up to 60 inches could fall on the closed-off summit of Highway 108 in Tuolumne County.
The Weather Service sees a chance of showers in Modesto from Monday to Thursday, Dec. 30. Temperatures will plunge Tuesday and Wednesday, possibly bringing snow to the foothills.
The snowpack in the central Sierra stood at 123% of average for the date Friday, the California Department of Water Resources reported. It was 102% on Thursday and 91% the previous day.
Friday’s snow reading was 38% of the historical average for the storm season, which is measured through April 1. The state still needs plenty of snow to recover from the past two years of drought.
Friday’s rain totaled 0.14 inches as of 10 a.m. at the downtown office of the Modesto Irrigation District. The season total stands at 7.34 inches. An average full year is 12.14 inches.