FAIRFIELD — Solano County and much of drought-stricken Northern California got a much-needed soaking Friday and the wet weather is set to continue through the weekend.
With heavy rain falling for much of the day Friday, Fairfield totaled 0.22 inches over 24 hours, ending at 5 p.m. Friday, which makes only a small dent in the rain deficit after the driest calendar year in state history.
“This is the most significant rains here in the Fairfield, Green Valley, Suisun area since December 2012,” said meteorologist Mike Pechner of Global West Meteorology. “We have a ton of subtropical moisture that stretches from north of Hawaii aimed right at Northern California, that we euphemistically call a Pineapple Express.”
So far for the season, which runs from July 1 to June 30, Fairfield is at 3.58 inches, compared to 13.6 inches in a normal year.
Pechner said the rain should hang around through the weekend before breaking Monday morning.
Rainfall totals for the lowlands should exceed 2 inches and could go as high as 3 inches. The hills – Blue Ridge, Mount Vaca and Rockville Heights – could see as much a 4 inches.
While the storm is no drought-buster, Pechner said it will make a difference.
“This will certainly help local water supplies because the rain intensity will be sufficient to produce runoff,” he said. “Some will be soaked in, but we’ll get a good amount of runoff.”
That will help local farmers and growers, and help replenish local creeks and nearby Lake Berryessa.
The storm also puts a definite end to the extended fire season, which saw wildfires breaking out in Northern California into January.
“We’ll also see in the next week or so, it will promote the growth of the regular winter grass, green grasses,” Pechner said. “That’s the most noticeable thing that people will see.”
Across Northern California, the story is much the same.
Forecasters remain hopeful that the storm indicates an end to the persistent dry weather that has plagued the area for months and prompted Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a drought emergency in January.
More light rain is expected Wednesday and Thursday, according to the National Weather Service, but it remains unclear how strong that system will be.
Forecasters also warned of possible road and stream flooding as trash and debris that have not been washed away because of the lack of rainfall clog storm drains. Minor rock and mud slides are also a possibility.
Reach Mike Corpos at 427-6979 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mcorposdr.