Sun, rain, breeze? This week will bring little of everything to Valley

03/24/2014 6:41 AM

03/24/2014 8:03 PM

Sunny and warm? Cool and rainy, with thunder and lightning? Cloudy and moderate? No matter how you like your weather, there’s a chance you’ll find something suitable in the Northern San Joaquin Valley this week.

Monday got the workweek off to a sunny, toasty start. That will change about noon Tuesday when a storm moves in, bringing some desperately needed rain to the Valley and snow to the foothills.

Forecasters are calling for a 50 percent chance of rain in the Modesto area Tuesday afternoon and evening, with showers likely through midday Wednesday.

“It looks like there’s going to be a decent Pacific storm moving through,” said Tom Dang, forecaster with the National Weather Service. “Round one will arrive in the afternoon and evening, with another round during the day Wednesday.”

Temperatures will be dropping as well, with a high in the upper 60s to mid-70s Tuesday and only into the 60s Wednesday. Wednesday also will bring increased wind of up to 13 mph.

The pair of storms could bring a quarter-inch to a half-inch of rain to the area, though Dang cautioned that some of it could come courtesy of thunderstorms, which tend to be spotty.

“That could skew precipitation levels,” he said.

The weather service has issued a weather statement associated with the storm, warning of wintry travel in the mountains and possible pooling of water on roads in lower elevations. Showers and the occasional thunderstorm could drop up to 2 inches of snow in the foothills, with up to 6 inches in the higher terrain.

The system is expected to wrap up Thursday, leaving cloudy but dry conditions, with a high in the upper 60s to mid-70s. Come Friday and the weekend, forecasters say, there’s another chance of rain.

“Longer-term computer models, it looks like the potential for more precipitation this weekend,” Dang said. That storm could be even wetter than the first system.

Neither, of course, will have much impact on the drought, which has left Modesto with a paltry 5.17 inches of rainfall for the season that ends June 30, according to the Modesto Irrigation District. That’s compared with an average of 12.19 inches.

Still, it’s better than nothing. As Dang said, “It’s something to get excited about.”

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