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Forecast calls for rain off & on thru Sunday
The ducks at the small lake at Orchard Valley next to the AMC Theatres and across from Bass Pro Shops don’t mind the wet weather.

Words such as drizzle, showers, and light rain are being used by National Weather Service to describe the outlook through Sunday across the Northern San Joaquin Valley.

It will continue the weather trend that started this weekend. Manteca on Sunday received 0.54 inches of rain based on the reading at the Civic Center weather station that also recorded a wind gust that reached 39 mph.

City officials — given water conservation is in effect year round and the fact California is experiencing a dry year despite the recent rain — remind residents and commercial property managers that in addition to the usual water restrictions  no irrigation is allowed during or within 48 hours following measurable rainfall as defined by storms that generate run-off or puddles

The prospect for a fairly wet start to January bodes well for area almond growers who in past years have started off new years with dry soil conditions.  That means the odds are — if the current pattern continues and is repeated before blossoms start setting in mid-February — South San Joaquin Irrigation District won’t need to do an early irrigation run.

Even though the weather year that started Oct. 1 in California is running below average in terms of snow and rain plus the fact  the USDA drought monitor indicated 75.17 percent of the state is in moderate drought while 92.23 is abnormally dry, SSJID is fairly well situated for 2018.

The water storage at Donnell’s Reservoir — one of three reservoirs on the Stanislaus River watershed that SSJID shares with Oakdale Irrigation District — is currently at 22,151 acre feet of its 64,320 acre foot capacity or 116 percent of average capacity for Jan. 4. The 97,800-acre-foot Beardsley Reservoir has 32,954 acre feet or 81 percent of the historic average capacity for Jan. 4.

Of California’s seven largest reservoirs, New Melones is the healthiest with 129 percent of its normal capacity with 1.3 million of its 2.4 million acre feet of capacity filled. During the recent drought it was the worst of all major reservoirs. Storms this weather year, while not as robust as in an average year, have been more generous to the Mid-Sierra than other parts of California. the Mid-Sierra watershed that includes the Stanislaus, Merced and Tuolumne rivers is the only part of California that isn’t dealing with below normal precipitation. Half of both Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties are split between abnormally dry and moderate drought.

New Melones is the largest reservoir on the Stanislaus and is key to OID and SSJID operations.

The National Weather Service expects the system passing through today and Tuesday will drop 6 to 12 inches of snow above 6,000 feet. On Wednesday several additional inches of snow is expected with the snowline dropping down to 5,000 feet.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email