The kind of rainy weather pattern shaping up for Central California this week has not occurred since 2010, the National Weather Service said Saturday.
A series of storms is expected to roll into Central California and will make for the most days with rain since before the drought began.
Three separate storms are on track to hit the central San Joaquin Valley Valley, meteorologist Brian Ochs said. The total expected rainfall for the three systems in the Valley is around 1 to 1.5 inches.
“We’ve been getting some much-needed rain as of late,” Ochs said. So far this rain season, Fresno has received 5.20 inches. The normal total for the season (Oct. 1 to Sept. 30) to date is 3.55 inches.
It’s been about five years since so many days of storms, Ochs said. “I remember in January of 2010, we had a series of five storms, and then again in December of 2010,” Ochs said.
The drought started in 2011, and Ochs said the following four years have had rainfall at 50 percent to 60 percent of average. It probably will take years of above-average rainfall for the drought to end. “We’re not really close yet,” Ochs said.
The first storm willl hit either Sunday night or Monday morning; the second arrives Monday night into Tuesday morning; and the third system is expected Wednesday and will last through Friday.
Abundant snowfall in the Sierra also is forecast.
The first storm system will bring 2 to 3 inches of snow at 7,000 feet and above. The Monday night and Wednesday storms are expected to bring 1 foot to 1.5 feet of snow each. Each storm gets progressively colder: Monday’s storm will have snow at 6,000 feet, then the snow level drops to 2,500 feet by Wednesday.
High temperatures will be in the 50s, though the third storm will bring back some colder temperatures.“By Thursday we’ll see much cooler air coming back,” Ochs said, “but not quite as cold as the Christmas Eve system.”