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Nevada County rain to end soon, temperatures to rise

Photo for The Union by Jennifer Terman. Visitors of downtown Grass Valley brace the rain with umbrellas.

The rain that surprised Nevada County residents with its uncommon timing will be short-lived, according to the National Weather Service.

The rainfall in the county has been scant since April, with only a couple inches, making the 1.24 inches recorded in the past few days a special circumstance, said meteorologist Drew Peterson.

“It’s not typical,” Peterson said. “We’ve had a pretty dry season. This is some much-needed relief.”



The rain will taper off and high temperatures can be expected in a short period of time, he said.

The high for today will reach 80, Thursday’s high will be 90, with temperatures in the low 90s through the weekend and beyond, Peterson said.




The changing temperatures can be attributed to a strong high pressure system moving into the Great Basin through eastern Nevada and Utah, Peterson said.

The moisture is from what meteorologists call an atmospheric river where a long, moist stretch of air moves from the Western Pacific across the Pacific Ocean and turns into rainfall.

“This was two and a half times wetter than what it typically is,” Peterson said.

“This only happens once every five to 10 (years), up to 30 years.” The precipitation has clocked record numbers nationwide, Peterson said, which is highly atypical as some states never experience rain during this time of year.

“When you get one of these atmospheric rivers, it’s going to break records,” Peterson said.

There is a chance of thunderstorms next week, but it is unlikely, Peterson said.

The rain is only a temporary relief from the dry, forest fire-prone season, said Grass Valley Fire Battalion Chief Mark Buttron.

“It will certainly have an impact in reducing (the risk) for a few days, but as the temperatures heat up for the rest of the week or so, it’s going to dry out and go back to the same conditions really rapidly,” Buttron said.

“It’s a false sense of security that the rain is going to impact the fire season in the upcoming months.”

The rain from the past few days has caused a reduction in the demand for water withdrawal from the Nevada Irrigation District, said Sue Sindt, NID operations administrator.

“We’re not gaining in storage. We are still withdrawing, but just not as fast a rate,” she said. “We’re usually withdrawing from storage about 700 acre-feet a day, today was about 300 acre-feet.”

To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email jterman@theunion.com or call 530-477-4230.


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