Yes, a cold rainy day in Sacramento in June is unusual. But hardly unprecedented.
The mild storm that greeted morning commuters Thursday was the first June rainfall in Sacramento in two years, when two days of wet weather briefly interrupted the drought. Before that, the last time it rained in Sacramento in June was in 2013.
In fact, Sacramento gets an average of nearly two-tenths of an inch of rain in June, according to the National Weather Service. “It’s not unheard of to get some late season storms...particularly in the first half of June,” said weather service forecaster Brooke Bingaman.
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The latest rain didn’t amount to much: 0.16 inches as of late morning. The region will start drying out Friday, followed by another storm over the weekend, “mainly in the mountains and the foothills,” Bingaman said.
Bingaman said the weekend storm will be noteworthy in at least one respect: It’s expected to bring snow, not rain, to the Sierra Nevada at elevations as low as 5,000 feet. Not that it will be a heavy snowfall.
“There could be an inch or two,” she said.
Any additional snow, however, could mean more hassles for campers, hikers and others wanting to visit the areas of the Sierra that got inundated with snow during the wettest Northern California winter on record.
The National Park Service said Highway 120 entering Yosemite National Park from the east remains closed because of the winter snows. The highway, also known as Tioga Road, frequently stays closed through late June or early July following a wet winter. At Lake Tahoe, the Forest Service said several campground openings have been delayed by snow in the Tallac region, including Bayview, Blackwood Canyon and William Kent.
It could be a while before some of those areas open for the season. Although about three-quarters of the giant snowpack has melted already since April 1, the weather service said the snowmelt has actually proceeded slowly this year because temperatures have stayed relatively cool.
“We’re running several weeks behind,” said Cindy Matthews, a weather service hydrologist.
Nonetheless, weather forecasters continued to warn about rivers running high because of the melting snow.
“The danger from the cold swift waters will continue well into July or maybe even August this year,” the weather service said in an advisory released Thursday.