Randy Pench / rpench@sacbee.com

Isabelle Hatcher, 2, of Woodland jumps in a puddle in downtown Davis on Wednesday. She stopped at every puddle she encountered, said her mother, Kimberly Hatcher, as they walked through Davis.

Rain forecast for Monday in Sacramento, snow in Sierra

Published: Monday, Mar. 31, 2014 - 12:00 am
Last Modified: Thursday, May. 22, 2014 - 8:59 am

Expect a soggy evening commute today, as another storm brings much-needed rain this week.

“We’re looking at showers and a slight chance of thunderstorms” this evening, said Holly Osborne, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sacramento.

The storm is expected to bring a half inch to three-quarters of an inch of precipitation to the Sacramento area before it leaves the area Wednesday.

However, since this is a colder system, the snow level will start at 3,500 feet today and get down to 3,000 by Tuesday morning.

The higher elevations can expect to get 1 to 2 feet of fresh powder, while 2t o 6 inches will fall above 4,000 feet. Snowfall totals at 3,000 feet will likely be 2 inches or less.

Temperatures will be cool in the capital city today, with a high of only 63 degrees and the low dropping to 48 degrees.

More showers and thunderstorms are expected in Sacramento on Tuesday, with highs to reach only 58 degrees, well below the normal 67 degrees for this time of year. The nighttime low of 48 degrees, however, will be warmer than the normal 45 degrees.

Wednesday will see sunny skies in Sacramento, with a high creeping back up to 64 degrees and a low of 48 degrees.

The mountains will likely see lingering showers Wednesday.

Another system may be moving into the Sacramento valley Thursday, with a slight chance of rain for the area. Highs will be almost normal – 65 degrees – and the nighttime temperature will be slightly warmer than normal, with 51 degrees expected.

There is a continued chance of showers on Friday, which will see daytime temperatures climb to 68 degrees, but still dropping to 51 degrees at night.

Saturday will be sunny, with a high near 71 degrees.

It’s unknown how much rain the second system will produce. “There’s a lot a of uncertainty – the storm track may move further to the north,” Osborne said.

As of Sunday, downtown Sacramento had only received 1.76 inches of rain for the month, putting the area 1.13 inches below normal for March.

Since July 1, the start of the water year, Sacramento has only posted 8.19 inches of precipitation. By this time, the area should have received 17.89 inches, so the region is 45 percent below normal.

Unfortunately, the adage “April showers bring May flowers” doesn’t quite apply to Sacramento, as April is the sixth wettest month. The normal rainfall for April is only 1.3 inches, and from there, less and less rain is likely.

The normal precipitation for May is 0.76 of an inch, while June drops down to 0.19 of an inch.

“We need less rain to get to normal, but April is the cutoff for the main precipitation season,” said Osborne. “The wet season typically ends the end of March.”

On the other hand, the recent rainfall has brought Sacramento out of the record books for driest water year.

“Once we’re past 8 inches of precipitation (for the water year), we are not the driest,” said Osborne. “We’ll be in the top 12 driest if we get less than 10 inches for the (water) year, so it will be one of the dry ones, but not the driest.”

The driest water year for Sacramento was in 1975-1976, when only 7.25 inches of rain fell.

Call The Bee’s Tillie Fong, (916) 321-1006.

Read more articles by Tillie Fong

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