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Storm systems expected to bring rain
A much drier January than expected will turn wetter today and continue through the weekend with at least three waves of moisture lined up.
After a good start to the month with more than half of an inch of rain in the first week, it has been mostly dry since .24 of an inch of rain fell on Porterville on Jan. 9, reported local weather observer Greg Chadwell.
That rainfall Jan. 9 brought the monthly total to .55 of an inch and the total since July 1 to 3.13 inches. Normal rainfall by the end of January is typically more than 5.5 inches.
However, National Weather Service meteorologist Dan Harty of the Hanford office said not a lot of rain will be produced over the next five days. He said the best bet right now is for maybe a half of an inch of rain overall through Sunday.
“We’re not looking at any heavy rain,” he said, although the forecast is not completely clear as to how much of a punch Sunday’s storm will have.
The forecast is for rain this afternoon and tonight, and off and on showers into Sunday when there will be a 50% chance of rain all day. The rain is expected to taper off on Monday with only a 20% chance of showers. Right now, it appears Tuesday will be dry.
As of Wednesday, the state department of water resources had the statewide snowpack at 98% of average for this date, but just 53% of the April 1 average. However, for the Southern Sierra, the snowpack is just 93% of average for this date and only 43% of the April 1 average.
“We will definitely cool down,” said Harty of Sunday’s storm that is out of the northwest. He said temperatures will move back down closer to normal for this time of the year — highs in the mid-50s and lows in the mid-30s.
The good news, pointed out Harty, is the pattern of the past 10 days of cold nights and dry air is going away.