Drought-Stricken California to Get Beneficial Rains
California has been mired in drought for more than four years; water tables, irrigation canals and reservoirs have been dropping precipitously in that time. More than 58 percent of the state is classified in the “exceptional drought” category. The greatest effects of the drought are being felt in the farming-oriented Great Valley and along much of the California coast. The on-going drought has hit the bottom lines of businesses around the state, especially the agricultural industry.
But after a hot and dry summer, which was rife with long-lived wildfires, parts of California will be getting some much needed rain in the coming days. While these rains may help, they’ll just put the smallest of dents into the rainfall deficit that continues to grow.
A strong system, coming off the Pacific Ocean, is likely to bring more than two inches of rain to parts of California. Widespread rains of one-half of an inch are possible from San Diego to Eureka, Calif.
Places like Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco and Fresno could all see some much-needed rain.
Expect light rain to start near the California-Oregon border late, on Thursday. Heavier rain will begin to move onshore just before midnight and will linger across Northern California for through early Saturday. Rain in San Francisco and Sacramento will being early Friday — perhaps around rush hour. Keep that in mind as you head into work. Precip will being in Southern California early Saturday morning and should last through the end of the day.
In addition to the rain, in the lower elevations, snow is expected above 5,000 feet — in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. While some uncertainty remains, the National Weather Service in Sacramento is suggesting as much as 3 to 9 inches of snow are possible. The could make travel treacherous for some of the higher passes, in the region. Snow pack is an important part of water resources in California. The 2013-2014 snow season yielded a fraction of normal snowmelt. That lack of snowmelt greatly exacerbated the drought in 2014, leading officials to issue stringent water restrictions.
Meteorologist Alan Raymond