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After dry January, experts give Sacramento 50/50 chance of rain this weekend

This NOAA satellite image shows clouds moving into the Pacific Northwest, Northern California and the Intermountain West. Forecasters say the Sacramento region is in line for precipitation as the high-pressure system that brought stagnant conditions breaks down.
This NOAA satellite image shows clouds moving into the Pacific Northwest, Northern California and the Intermountain West. Forecasters say the Sacramento region is in line for precipitation as the high-pressure system that brought stagnant conditions breaks down. The Associated Press

After January’s dry spell, the Sacramento region could see a couple of days of rain later this week, if a stubborn high-pressure system finally weakens and departs.

The National Weather Service pegs precipitation as about an even-money bet.

“Right now, for Friday and Saturday, it’s about a 50 percent chance,” Holly Osborne, an NWS meteorologist, said on Sunday. “And that could change as we get closer, as well as the predicted amounts.”

Tentative predictions are for rain this weekend, possibly starting as early as during the day on Friday and continuing into Saturday. Predicted rainfall is one-half to three-quarters of an inch.

A persistent ridge of high pressure along the West Coast has kept rain at bay since Christmas Eve, with storm systems being pushed north of the Sierra Nevada. For this weather system to reach Sacramento, that high-pressure ridge must break down, something experts are anticipating.

Assuming that happens, the weather system is expected to be warm, so only Sierra elevations above 8,000 feet will receive snow.

Total rainfall for January was 0.01 inches. The rainfall so far for the season stands at 9.29 inches, which is 85 percent of normal. Much of that came during a series of December storms.

Super Bowl Sunday opened with patchy fog in the Sacramento Valley, with high temperatures in the mid-60s.

If the storm arrives, it will be after a few more days pretty much the same as those preceding them. Forecast highs are for the mid-60s with patchy morning fog.

Here is the seven-day forecast for the Sacramento region:

Sunday: Partly sunny, with a high near 66. South wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the afternoon.

Sunday night: Patchy fog after 4 a.m. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a low around 45. Calm wind.

Monday: Patchy fog before 10 a.m. Otherwise, partly sunny, with a high near 65. Light and variable wind.

Monday night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 48. Light and variable wind.

Tuesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 64. South-southwest wind around 5 mph.

Tuesday night: Patchy fog after 10 p.m. Otherwise, partly cloudy, with a low around 47.

Wednesday: Patchy fog before 10 a.m. Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 64.

Wednesday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 48.

Thursday: Partly sunny, with a high near 62.

Thursday night: A slight chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 50.

Friday: A chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 61.

Friday night: Rain likely. Cloudy, with a low around 50.

Saturday: A chance of rain. Cloudy, with a high near 61.

Call The Bee’s Ellen Garrison at (916) 321-1006.

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