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BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES

Get ready for 5 days of rain

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BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES

This will be a typical view for drivers during the next six days.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin/


POSTED March 21, 2017 12:48 a.m.

Good news and bad news is coming this way.
The National Weather Service is calling for rain for five of the next six days including heavy rain and snow Friday as well as Saturday. The rain is expected to pause on Thursday.
Today’s forecast in the Northern San Joaquin Valley calls for winds from 30 to 35 mph as well as the possibility of afternoon thundershowers and hail. There is even the possibility of small tornadoes developing in the Northern Sacramento Valley.
That means the South San Joaquin Irrigation District will likely be able to postpone the start of the irrigation to next week virtually guaranteeing adequate water for crops and cities as well as a healthy reservoir carryover for 2018 in case this year’s drenching and near record snowpack is a one shot wonder. That’s the good news.
The ridge of the Sierra that ultimately feeds the Tuolumne and Merced watersheds with runoff as well as the Stanislaus River Basin will see another  8 to 12 feet of snow on Wednesday according to the National Weather Service. While most of Wednesday’s storm will be above 5,000 feet, heavy rain with snow down to 4,000 feet will hit on Friday and Saturday.
While that is good news for the SSJID and Oakdale Irrigation District that rely on New Melones Reservoir storage that will likely be at capacity for the first time in years at the end of spring, it means even more inflow into Don Pedro on the Tuolumne River as well as other reservoirs to the south. That’s bad news for those keeping a watch on levees south of Manteca along the San Joaquin River that are likely to stay under stress well into May.
 The daily reading automated snow measurement stations operated in the Central Sierra that includes the Stanislaus, Merced, and Tuolumne watersheds had the average water equivalent of the snow from 42 locations at 48.5 percent. Snow is now at 166 percent of average for April 1 and 169 percent of average as of Monday.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email dwyatt@mantecabulletin.com

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