Hailstorm pounds Sacramento, but mostly misses surrounding areas

Hail surprises commuters in downtown Sacramento

A hailstorm caught some Sacramentans offguard Monday afternoon, April 26, 2018.
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A hailstorm caught some Sacramentans offguard Monday afternoon, April 26, 2018.

An afternoon thunderstorm brought significant hail and rain to Sacramento on Monday, but largely missed the region’s outlying areas.

The California Nevada Forecast Center’s rain meter at Sacramento State picked up 0.65 inches on Monday, while the meter at Sacramento International Airport received 0.12 inches of precipitation. Hail began peppering downtown streets about 4 p.m., leaving a blanket of white in especially hard-hit areas.

Neither meter accumulated any measurable rainfall on Sunday, when the storm began by dumping up to eight inches of snow at Lake Tahoe ski resorts. Squaw Valley, Bear Valley and Heavenly Mountain Resort each saw more than a foot of powder over the last two days.

Monday’s weather may have lingering effects in Rio Linda, where 16,300 Sacramento Municipal Utility District customers were without power early Tuesday. Another 1,800 customers in North Highlands and 600 in Citrus Heights were also affected before power began being restored around 7 a.m.

Sacramento is up to 91 percent of its average year-to-date precipitation after a dismal start to the rainy season and 2.45 inches in the month of April, which normally brings about 1.3 inches.

“At a minimum, we’ll get close to double the usual amount for April, which is good,” said Mike Smith, National Weather Service meteorologist. “It’ll help us catch up back to near normal for the season.”

Snow was reported down to 2,500 feet in Calaveras and Amador counties Monday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

Regional temperatures are beginning in the upper 30s Tuesday before rising to the mid-60s. Wednesday night brings a slight chance of rain as a low-pressure Pacific system hits the Bay Area and Central Valley, then highs will gradually climb into the low 80s by the weekend. Mild snow showers are forecast for next Monday with minimal rainfall in Sacramento, Smith said.

Benjy Egel: (916) 321-1052, @BenjyEgel