59°
Cloudy
TUE
 75°
 56°
WED
 74°
 54°
THU
 79°
 55°
FRI
 79°
 50°
SAT
 81°
 53°

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Rain soaks Sonoma County, another storm on the way (w/video)

  • Rain returned to Sonoma County, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014. (KENT PORTER/ PD)

Hit the “replay” button on Wednesday's rainfall for a sense of what to expect from Friday's pending storm, according to the National Weather Service.

Wednesday's dousing brought between 1.5 and 2.5 inches of rain to much of the county.

February's final weather punch should arrive in the North Bay late Thursday night and linger into Saturday afternoon with periodic showers.

Rain In Sonoma County

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“You're going to get some pretty good bands (of rain) beginning late tonight, between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. (Friday),” said Bob Benjamin, meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

“Most of it will be when you're sleeping. The morning commute could be a little ugly,” said Benjamin.

Rainfall totals could get to 1-2 inches in the valleys and 2-3 inches in the mountains. That would bring the week's storm totals to respectable amounts of 4-6 inches.

“It'll be a nearly similar situation,” said Benjamin, comparing the week's two storms.

The difference will be stronger winds accompanying the second storm.

A wind advisory warning will last from 10 p.m. Thursday to 10 a.m. Friday, with winds expected at 20-30 mph and gusts from 45-50 mph along the coast and in the hills.

By late Friday morning the bulk of the warm Pacific storm should have moved south where it was expected to dump on the Santa Cruz and coastal mountains.

Snow fans heading Friday afternoon or night into the Sierras for the weekend could find driving to be messy and slow.

As much as a foot of snow was expected at the higher elevations, with snowfall starting to build at about 5,000-6,000 feet.

With this last storm of February, rainfall amounts could be closing in on about 40 percent of average — keeping the state firmly entrenched in a drought, said Benjamin.

“We're making steps in the right direction, albeit baby steps. We're at upper 30 percent now, we might get to 40. We've got the ball but we've not made it to the 50 yard line,” said Benjamin, switching to a football analogy. “And they've got a strong defense.”

Sunday through Tuesday still looked to be dry with a chance of a lesser storm arriving Wednesday.

“Nothing like this. Just enough to keep us from falling backward,” said Benjamin.

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