Wet Y-S spared big rain
Forecasters have a message for weather-weary Northern California residents who endured the second-wettest March on record: There's plenty more rain to come.
Meteorologists blame the unusually wet weather on a westerly wind pattern that has blown a series of storms into California in recent weeks and shows no signs of going away for at least more two weeks.
“Over this past month, the pattern has essentially gotten stuck,” Brooke Bingaman, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Monterey, said Sunday. “At this point we're not seeing a breakdown in that pattern.”
According to unofficial Appeal-Democrat records (the weather service in Sacramento doesn't archive data in Yuba-Sutter), it rained 5.07 inches last month in Marysville, compared to 2.25 inches in March 2005. It rained 17 days last month; last year, the number was eight.
Seasonal rain in Marysville had topped 21.65 inches by Sunday, compared to 17.26 inches by this time last year.
For much of the San Francisco Bay area, last month was the second-wettest March ever recorded. Records date back to 1850.
Rainfall in San Francisco reached 8.74 inches, second only to the 9 inches that fell in March 1983, Bingaman said. The city had rain on 25 days, breaking a previous record from 1904, when it rained on 23 days.
Rainy-day records were also broken in Oakland with 22 days of rain, San Rafael with 24 days and Santa Rosa with 25 days. Oakland International Airport had 7.22 inches of rain during the month, breaking the previous mark of 5.69 inches set in 1958, Bingaman said.
The daily soakings have forced the cancellations of countless activities in the Bay Area, from picnics to softball games to construction work.
“The main concern is mudslides,” Bingaman said. “If any of these systems come through with any significant amount of rain, that would put houses at risk and close roads.”
Mendocino County's Skunk Train is among the wet-weather casualties, with three landslides forcing officials to close all or parts of the 40-mile line.
Appeal-Democrat reporter Daniel Thigpen and The Associated Press contributed to this report.