Storm brings season’s first real rain
by TP staff
Oct 22, 2012 | 2120 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Storm clouds seen from a rain-slicked West High School start breaking up after a low pressure system passed through Tracy on Monday, Oct. 22, dropping 0.24 inches of rain on the city. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Storm clouds seen from a rain-slicked West High School start breaking up after a low pressure system passed through Tracy on Monday, Oct. 22, dropping 0.24 inches of rain on the city. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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The first measurable rainfall of the year arrived in Tracy on Monday, Oct. 22, and forecasters are expecting the wet weather to linger until Wednesday.

With the fall season well under way, the rain might seem behind schedule — but according to Karl Swanberg, forecaster for the National Weather Service in Sacramento, it’s “right on time with their arrival.”

A low pressure system that developed over the Pacific Ocean during the weekend delivered “a strong burst of energy” to much of California and the Pacific Northwest on Monday, dropping rain in the Central Valley and up to 24 inches of snow in the Sierras, Swanberg said.

The most intense wave of showers came Monday morning, Swanberg said, but he noted that there is also a 50 percent chance for rain and thunderstorms during the daytime hours of Tuesday, Oct. 23, and Wednesday, Oct. 24.

About 0.2 inches of rain was recorded in Tracy as of 1:30 p.m. Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

A rain gauge mounted on the roof of the Tracy Press, 145 W. 10th St., tallied 0.24 inches as of 3:15 p.m. Monday.

The average rainfall level in a year for Tracy is about 10.5 inches, according to Swanberg. Prior to Monday, about 0.03 inches had fallen in the city, he said.

“It’s kind of been a slow start to the wet season, but now we are getting a big bang,” he said. “We’ve been seeing abnormally high temperatures and dry conditions this year, so this weather system should get us back to normal levels.”

Swanberg said that Tracy is in a “rain shadow” created by the mountains west of the city.

Areas located in the rain shadow are typically skipped over by rain moving from west to east because they stall over the coastal mountains and become disorganized, he said. Once the storm moves east, it reforms over the Central Valley — but usually too far east of Tracy to impact the city.

“Locally, we could see some higher levels of rainfall if the thunderstorms move through the Tracy area,” he said. “It just depends on how the system moves.”

High temperatures Tuesday and Wednesday are expected to reach the lower to mid 60s, while nighttime lows are forecast to be around 50, according to the National Weather Service website.

Sunshine should return by the weekend. with high temperatures reaching the lower to mid 70s from Thursday, Oct. 25 to Sunday, Oct. 28. Lows for those days are expected to be around 50.

• Contact Joel Danoy at 830-4229 or jdanoy@tracypress.com.
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