Just to clear things up: Modesto’s first rain of the weather year was just right

The Modesto area got its first rainfall of the weather year Monday – all of 0.07 inches, but welcome at the height of harvest.

That was the measurement at the downtown office of the Modesto Irrigation District as of 4 p.m. The National Weather Service had forecast up to 0.1 inches.

The rain was too light to cause road problems but enough to wash dust out of the air – and off car windshields. Much of the stuff comes from machinery that harvest nuts, feed corn and several other crops this time of year

The weather year starts July 1 for MID. An average September brings 0.2 inches. An average year is 12.2 inches, most of it falling from November to March.

The moisture allowed Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties to be left out of an advisory from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. It said Monday afternoon winds could stir up dust from Merced to Kern counties.

The storm also brought a welcome plunge in temperatures. MID recorded a high of 99 on Saturday, but it was just 76 at 4 p.m. Monday.

The Weather Service forecasts dry conditions the rest of the week. Highs will be around 80 through Thursday, then rise toward the high 80s by the weekend.

John Holland covers breaking news and has been with The Modesto Bee since 2000. He has covered agriculture for the Bee and at newspapers in Sonora and Visalia. He was born and raised in San Francisco and has a journalism degree from UC Berkeley.