Wet weather may add to U.S. 50 traffic challenges

Published: Sunday, Apr. 20, 2014 - 12:05 pm
Last Modified: Thursday, May. 22, 2014 - 8:59 am

April showers will make a return on Tuesday for the Sacramento area, just when commuters have to figure out how to get around the lane closures on Highway 50.

“There may be some slight chance of thunderstorms, with isolated spots that could get a brief period of heavier rain but it will not cause any significant travel issues,” said Craig Shoemaker, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sacramento.

But first, motorists get to enjoy one last workday with dry weather and balmy weather before the Fix50 complications Tuesday, when Caltrans will close Highway 50 lanes downtown for rehabilitation work on the key traffic artery.

Monday will be sunny and warm, with a high of 78 degrees, just slightly above the normal 72 degrees. The low that night is expected to drop to 50, just one degree above the normal 49 degrees.

But a weak storm system will move in Monday night, bringing cooler temperatures and moisture Tuesday.

Tuesday will be the coldest day of the week, with a high of only 67, well below the normal 74 degrees for the date. The low will also be cooler than normal - a chilly 47 degrees.

The Sacramento area will get anywhere from one tenth to a quarter inch of precipitation from the storm Tuesday, with the mountains getting a quarter inch to an inch of rain.

“This is not a moisture rich system,” said Shoemaker.

So far this month, the downtown area of Sacramento has received 1.31 inches of rain, a little above the normal 0.81 inch for April.

“Usually we don’t get that much rain this month,” said Shoemaker. “So, that’s a bit deceiving.”

As far as the water year, which began July 1, downtown Sacramento has only received 9.68 inches as of Sunday, or 51 percent of normal, which should be 18.92 inches by this time.

Daytime temperatures will return to the normal 74 degrees Wednesday, as the storm system moves out of Sacramento, bringing clear skies to the capitol city. However, showers may linger in the northern mountains. The low in Sacramento will drop down to 50 degrees that night, or just one degree above the normal.

Thursday will be sunny and warm, with the thermometer creeping back up to 79 degrees, slightly above normal during the day. The mercury is expected to slide down to 52 degrees, which is above the normal low of 49 degrees.

Another storm system moves into northern California Friday, which will bring cooler temperatures and more rain for the weekend.

“It looks stronger than the one coming in on Tuesday,” said Shoemaker.

The Sacramento Valley can expect to get about a quarter of an inch of precipitation from the weekend storm, while the mountains will get anywhere from a half inch to a full inch of moisture.

A high of 7 degrees is expected in Sacramento on Friday, with a nighttime low of 50 degrees.

There is a chance of showers in the capitol city Saturday, with daytime temperatures likely to reach 70 degrees.

Still, all this new moisture will not end the drought.

“Hopefully, we can continue this pattern into the next couple of weeks,” said Shoemaker. “But there is no way we’ll be able to catch up to normal. The drought will be continuing into summer and fall - there’s no way around it.”

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

Read more articles by Tillie Fong

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