Easter brought the first notable rain and snow in several weeks, but they won't do much to ease worries about drought.
The Modesto Irrigation District recorded nearly an inch of rain downtown from 11 p.m. Saturday to 11 p.m. Sunday, most of it in cloudbursts around 2 a.m.
That brought the total for the rainfall year, which started July 1, to 9.12 inches. The historical average is 12.2 inches, but it will be hard to reach by June 30 because few storms tend to come after March.
The storm added somewhat to a central Sierra Nevada snowpack that stood at 56 percent of average Friday, according to the California Department of Water Resources.
That outlook already has prompted the Turlock Irrigation District to cap 2013 water deliveries at roughly half of what farmers could get in better years. The MID board could set its allotment April 9.
Some parts of the West Side expect just 20 percent of their contracted amount from the federal Central Valley Project.
The late rain does mean that city residents can put off outdoor watering and at least some farmers can delay irrigation.
That would help maintain water levels in reservoirs, which are in decent shape despite two years of below-average rain and snow.
The rain, combined with warming spring days, could bring a flush of growth to nonirrigated pastures on the flanks of the San Joaquin Valley.
Forecaster Stefanie Henry at the National Weather Service said that the Modesto area will dry out through Wednesday. Daytime highs will be in the mid-70s to start the workweek and will rise to the upper 70s by midweek.
The next chance of rain is Thursday, when another wave of storms is expected to come through the region. Friday could be dry, but the weekend could be wet.
The next system looks like it will be moderate, and could dump 0.25 inches to 0.75 inches of rain, Henry said. Daytime temperatures also will drop with the rain to the upper 60s to lower 70s.
The storm season started strong, with well-above-average totals through December. Three mostly dry months followed in what is usually the wettest time of year.