Weather

Thundering Sacramento downpours deliver a half-inch of rain in 30 minutes

Showers flood 46th Street in East Sacramento

Rain showers flood 46th Street near H Street in East Sacramento on Tuesday March 21, 2017.
Up Next
Rain showers flood 46th Street near H Street in East Sacramento on Tuesday March 21, 2017.

The wet weather of winter 2016-17 continued into the spring as the Sacramento area absorbed plenty of rain overnight and big downpours of precipitation Tuesday as a storm front marched through the area.

A line of thunderstorms moving through Sacramento produced a half an inch of at Sacramento’s Executive Airport in less than 30 minutes, according to the National Weather Service. That brings the 24-hour total at the airport to 1.29 inches.

The morning thunderstorms delivered a lot of rain in a short time. Between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., about three-quarters of an inch was recorded in Sacramento and 0.87 in Arden Arcade, according to the online readings from the California-Nevada River Forecast Center.

However, other spots did not receive much rain, such is the hit-or-miss localized nature of thunderstorms.

Unofficial 24-four hour rainfall amounts as of 11 a.m. Tuesday: Sacramento, 1.42 inches, Rio Linda, 0.87, Rocklin, 0.63, Auburn, 1.14, Folsom Lake, 0.55, Rancho Cordova, 0.63 and Elk Grove, 0.43.

It was about time that some rain fell in March. Less than a quarter of an inch had fallen in Sacramento the first 20 days of the month.

Normally, 3 inches of rain falls in Sacramento during March, so even with last night’s off-and-on showers, much more is needed to get to the monthly average. NWS forecasters say that more precipitation is on the way.

The season’s rainfall total as of midnight Monday for Sacramento stands at 28.11 inches, which is 167 percent of normal.

And for those in the Stockton and Modesto areas watch out for this: A brief tornado or two cannot be ruled out for the northern San Joaquin Valley.

Looking ahead, figure on showers most days in Sacramento except for Thursday when skies are expected to be mostly sunny. As for the mountains, the snow level on Tuesday is expected to start at the 7,500-feet elevation level but dive around midday,when cooler air begins to make it into the northern Sierra.

If a weekend ski or snowboarding trip is planned, the weather service warns that travel could be affected by perhaps a half-foot of snow over Donner Pass or Echo Summit.

Dave Wood, Caltrans maintenance superintendent for the Donner Pass-Sutter/Sierra Region, said snow is falling and traffic is heavy Tuesday on Interstate 80.

The detailed, seven-day forecast from the weather service for the Sacramento region:

Tuesday: Showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 11 a.m. Some of the storms could produce small hail. High near 67. South wind around 14 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90 percent. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Tuesday night: Showers likely, mainly after 11 p.m. Increasing clouds, with a low around 50. Southeast wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60 percent New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

Wednesday: Showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 11 a.m. High near 62. Southeast wind 3 to 6 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Wednesday night: A 30 percent chance of showers before 11 p.m. Mostly cloudy, then gradually becoming mostly clear, with a low around 44. West wind 3 to 5 mph.

Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 64. Calm wind becoming south southwest around 6 mph in the afternoon.

Thursday night: A 20 percent chance of rain after 11 p.m. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 49.

Friday: Rain. High near 60. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent.

Friday night: Showers. Cloudy, with a low around 48.

Saturday: Showers likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 66.

Saturday night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 47.

Sunday: A chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 61.

Sunday night: A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 47.

Monday: A slight chance of showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 67.

This National Weather Service Sacramento video shows the swaths of concentrated rain (green and yellow area) expected Sunday through next week. The 2016-17 season atmospheric river events have already doubled the average so far, NWS said, and the

Visitors enjoy the first day of Spring at McLaughlin's Daffodil Hill in Volcano, Calif., on Monday March 20, 2017.

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews

  Comments