It’s been over a month since some parts of Northern California have seen any precipitation, but this coming weekend’s wet weather could be a small victory in an area with heavy drought concerns.
The National Weather Service is forecasting up to a half inch of rain falling on NorCal late Saturday through Sunday morning, along with the potential of up to 8 inches of snow in the mountains. Most of the precipitation is expected to hit the Sierra Nevada, with the large majority of the Sacramento Valley and North Coast expected to continue its dry spell.
This weekend’s showers are obviously a very small victory following the driest February in NorCal’s recorded history. Although drought concerns have turned to full on panic for some NorCal residents, we still have the hopes of wet weather in March and April to ease the worries of wildfire danger and water storage problems.
A graphic released by the NWS last week shows how little precipitation fell on certain areas of NorCal in February. Places like Redding, Sacramento and Modesto saw zero rain during the 28-day month:
With the historically dry February, the Sierra snowpack has seen a serious loss of snowpack, now at 58 percent of average for this time of year. The NWS released satellite images showing the difference between last year’s snowpack and the current situation:
That photo is quite the gut punch for anyone concerned with California water storage and the prospect of a difficult fire season in 2020. Hopes of a “Miracle March” to bring back the lost snowpack are prevalent throughout the state.
Hopefully, this new rain will be the start to a wet spring in Northern California.