Weather

Sprinkles arrive in Sacramento and cleanse region’s air

A low-pressure system from Alaska is bringing cooler weather to the Sacramento region this week and has the potential through Wednesday to deliver rain, according to the National Weather Service.
A low-pressure system from Alaska is bringing cooler weather to the Sacramento region this week and has the potential through Wednesday to deliver rain, according to the National Weather Service. rbenton@sacbee.com

A low-pressure system from Alaska is bringing cooler weather to the Sacramento region this week and has the potential through Wednesday to deliver rain, according to the National Weather Service.

The same system has a higher chance of bringing precipitation to Lake and Napa counties, where firefighters continue to battle the Valley fire that has resulted in one confirmed death and destroyed hundreds of homes.

In parts of the Sacramento region, sprinkles fell Monday afternoon after last week’s triple-digit heat and dry conditions.

“We’re going to be right along the cutoff line for the precipitation,” said Tom Dang, a weather service forecaster in Sacramento. “It may hang around in Sacramento or stay a little bit to the north.”

The high temperature for Tuesday and Wednesday is expected to top out at 75 degrees, according to the weather service.

“We’ve gone from 15 degrees above normal to close to 15 degrees lower than normal,” Dang said.

While September is usually cooler than July and August, Dang said it is unusual for Sacramento to experience significant rainfall this month.

“October is usually your first month of soaking rain,” he said.

The cool and moist Alaskan air also has helped keep Sacramento’s air relatively clean following a weekend when skies were hazy.

The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality District reported Monday that the region’s air was healthy, after smoke from the Butte fire in Calaveras and Amador counties brought particulate matter to the capital region Sunday.

“We’re expecting to continue to see improvement,” said Lori Kobza, a spokeswoman for the air quality district. “We are being aided by the Delta breeze.”

Said Dang, “Rain will actually help to settle some of the smoke.”

Winds on Monday were blowing from the southwest, which prevented heavy smoke from the Valley fire in Lake County from entering Sacramento.

But Kobza noted that anything could happen because of the explosive nature of the two wildland fires.

“The changing fire and wind conditions really do make it unpredictable,” Kobza said.

Richard Chang: 916-321-1018, @RichardYChang

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