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Does early storm signal a wet winter in Colusa?
Rice growers put their harvest into overdrive during the weekend, trying to beat the storm that brought tornadoes to the east side of the Valley and dropped about an inch of rain on the west side.
Colusa County got a flushing of rain Sunday night and on-and-off again showers on Monday, but not enough to stop growers from getting back into the fields.
And the weather system is not telling the National Weather Service much about what might be expected this winter.
"Right now, the forecast is equal chances for a wet winter or a dry winter," said Karl Swanberg, a forecaster for the National Weather Service in Sacramento.
"El Nino, La Nina: Neither one of them is really in play. We have a very weak El Nino, and that signal is not a really strong indicator for Northern California.
Swanberg said what is out there is a very weak El Nino system, which means the ocean's temperatures are warming up.
That, in turn, strengthens whatever weather systems in the area, resulting in wetter, longer storms.
"But for Northern California, a better signal would be a moderate or strong El Nino," Swanberg said. Still, the first storm of the fall was largely greeted with smiles in an agricultural area thirsty for rain — and more is coming in the immediate future.
The National Weather Service out of Sacramento reports that there is a 70 percent chance of showers today, subsiding into the evening and projected to be clear on Thursday.
The Friday forecast is for mostly sunny skies, with clouds rolling in on Saturday, but the sun reappearing on Sunday.
No rain is in the forecast for the weekend.
While no accidents were reported because of wet roads, Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol are warning motorists to be cautious.