Weather system could deliver needed precipitation to Yuba-Sutter
The heaviest rainfall will hit Yuba-Sutter early Wednesday, but showers are expected throughout the day, National Weather Service forecaster Stefanie Henry said.
Locals hoping for rain, however, should soak it up while it lasts. "It (the storm system) will be out of the area by Wednesday night," Henry said.
Temperatures on Wednesday will cool to 65 degrees, then rise to about 69 degrees on Thursday, she said. Friday, Saturday and Sunday temperatures are expected to level off in the mid-70s.
No thunderstorms are predicted, but winds will blow up to about 25 mph on Wednesday and Thursday. Strong northerly gusts may hit the area on Friday as well.
At the peak of the storm, higher elevations may experience 3 to 6 inches of snow, adding to snowpack.
"It going to impact people that are traveling over the mountains for sure," Henry said.
Rainfall is at 75 to 85 percent of normal levels this season, she said, and the shortage will remain in the forseeable future.
After this storm system passes, Yuba-Sutter will hit another dry pattern.
"This system isn't going to help us catch up at this point," she said.
While the drier weather tends to help new orchard farmers plant crops early, it can hinder prune farmers, such as Sarb Atwal, who has to pay for irrigation expenses at a time when he normally wouldn't have to.
Atwal said the lack of rain in March has caused several Yuba-Sutter farmers to start irrigating their crops earlier than expected.
Warmer weather also plays a factor during blooming season because prunes favor cooler weather.
Mark Brown, assistant agriculture commissioner for Sutter County, said the situation isn't too serious at this point, but does cause some concern.
"They are constantly fighting the weather," he said of the farmers. "You're either getting too much or not enough."
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