Look! It’s Wet Outside! Or, a Light Rain Falls in San Francisco

Dramatic evidence of the rain that fell on San Francisco overnight. (Dan Brekke/KQED News)
Dramatic evidence of the rain that fell on San Francisco overnight. (Dan Brekke/KQED News)

Well, we got our rain. Most of Northern California is decidedly damper this morning than it was a day or two ago. The light rain that has fallen across the region won’t fool anyone into thinking the drought is over, but it has ended a record rainy-season dry spell in Sacramento and other locations.

The state capital went 52 straight days with no rain, beating the old record of 44 days (set in 1976; in 1884, Sacramento once went 46 days without measurable rain, but did experience a trace of precipitation during that time).

The brief, stingy storm dropped just three-hundredths (.03) of an inch of rain on San Francisco, according to the most recent National Weather Service rain summary. That gives the city .06 inch of rain for the month, making this the driest January since the record-keeping began in the city in the rainy season of 1849-50. The previous driest January: .26 inch, in 1920. The city got .49 inch in January 2013, then the third-driest January in the record book.

But the weather system has not been so parsimonious elsewhere in the state. The Sierra Nevada is getting a decent jolt of snow — 2 feet or more in elevations above 7,000 feet — and some reporting stations in the Sierra foothills and along the North Coast have gotten a soaking rain, with storm totals between 1 and 2 inches since rain started falling Tuesday.

The forecast: Much of Northern and Central California have a chance of rain today, and snow is expected to linger over the Sierra through Friday. Another weather system is expected to approach the coast Saturday, but forecasters’ say it will likely miss the Bay Area. After that little disturbance, it’s back to dry weather.

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Dan Brekke

Dan Brekke has worked in media ever since Nixon's first term, when newspapers were still using hot type. He had moved on to online news by the time Bill Clinton met Monica Lewinsky. He's been at KQED since 2007, is an enthusiastic practitioner of radio and online journalism and will talk to you about absolutely anything. Reach Dan Brekke at dbrekke@kqed.org.

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