Rain helps alleviate fire weather; another wind event eyed for Monday and Tuesday | TheUnion.com

Rain helps alleviate fire weather; another wind event eyed for Monday and Tuesday

A brief thunderstorm caught many in western Nevada County by surprise Tuesday evening, dumping nearly one third of an inch of rain in Grass Valley while covering Nevada City in hail during an event some forecasters have referred to as an “unexpected gift”.

“We weren’t expecting them to come down the slope,” National Weather Service Meteorologist Cory Mueller said about a pair of storm cells. “There were a couple that came out of the Sierra. They continued and held together and moved into the Sacramento area.”

A rain gauge off Madrone Forest Drive in Nevada City read 0.34 inches of precipitation during the Tuesday evening storm.

In Folsom, where the storm cell dissipated, 0.03 inches of rain was recorded.

Fire season over?

Tuesday’s rain helped ease wildfire weather conditions in the area, but it wasn’t enough to clear Nevada County of the 2019 fire season.

“It definitely helped,” Mueller said of the precipitation. “Was it enough rain to end fire season? Probably not.”

Changing weather conditions Wednesday helped PG&E decide not to shut down power to 83,000 customers in Nevada, El Dorado, Placer, Yuba and Sierra and counties.

Meteorologists are eyeing another wind event Monday and Tuesday that will effect fire weather conditions mostly in the Sacramento and northern San Joaquin Valleys.

“Another north wind event, Monday into Tuesday, may lead to elevated fire weather conditions,” Mueller said. “We could get some strong winds.”

The Sacramento Valley saw wind gusts up to 40 mph Wednesday while Grass Valley saw gusts up to 25 mph.

The Sierra peaks recorded gusts of 50 mph.

“Right now it doesn’t look too bad in the mountains,” Mueller said. “It may be more in the Valley, and northern San Joaquin Valley.”

More rain coming

More precipitation is expected to follow the upcoming Monday/Tuesday wind event, with multiple days of precipitation in the extended forecast.

“Once we get past (the wind event) we could get into a system by mid-week where there is some rain and snow,” Mueller said. “It still is pretty far out, but it is a good sign and something we want to see.”

To contact Multimedia Reporter Elias Funez, email efunez@theunion.com or call 530-477-4230.

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