MERCED COUNTY — Water and agricultural officials welcomed recent rainstorms, but said they still may be too little and too late to significantly help water-strapped farmers in Merced County.
Every drop helps, but were so far behind the curve at this point that even these storms wont get us where we need to be, said Mike Jensen, a spokesman for the Merced Irrigation District.
Forecasters with the National Weather Service in Hanford said Merced has received nearly an inch of rain since Thursday and they expected 0.25 or 0.38 inches through Saturday.
But were still going to be quite a bit below average for this time of year, said meteorologist Jim Andersen.
The weather service said that after this weekends storms, Merced County will have collected just under 3 inches of rainfall for the year. The county typically gets nearly 9 inches in the same time frame in non-drought years.
We are down almost six inches, meteorologist Bill Peterson said.
Forecasters expected rain through Saturday with the weather clearing again Sunday. They called for a 20 percent chance of rain Monday and a clear sky again Tuesday, with temperatures climbing above 70 degrees.
The Merced County Farm Bureau called the drought unprecedented.
The rain were having is very pleasant and welcome, said Amanda Carvajal, the Farm Bureaus executive director. But its just not enough.
Carvajal said farmers need more rain and a larger snowpack.
We really are in uncharted waters now, Carvajal said. Every farmer, every water district meeting, you can really feel the tension everywhere.
Staff writer Rob Parsons can be reached at (209) 385-2482 or firstname.lastname@example.org.