The National Weather Service says that a storm coming from the Gulf of Alaska tonight will be a preview of stronger storms expected early next week.
Meteorologist Steve Anderson says the cold front will open the storm door to a series of systems that could blanket the mountains with more than a foot of snow.
The storm arriving this evening is expected to leave only a dusting of snow in the mountains, but rain is expected in much of the state.
Anderson says another front will deposit up to two inches of rain in Northern California and drop more than a foot of snow in the Sierra Nevada.
The rain likely will be followed by dense fog in the Central Valley.