More rain this week continues to be a welcome sight as the drought plagues California.
According to Bill Randall, at Gen. Vallejo’s home in Sonoma, where staff collects rainfall data daily, Sonoma received just over a half inch of rain Wednesday (with measurements reflecting rainfall from Tuesday, Feb. 25, at 4 p.m. to Wednesday, Feb. 26, at 4 p.m.) and another .61 on Thursday.
Meteorologist Christine Riley, at the National Weather Services Bay Area headquarters, said on Thursday “steady rain” would start to fall around midnight Friday. “And steady rain,” she said, “is going to continue until at least Friday late morning.” Later Friday through Saturday afternoon, Riley expects to see scattered showers with isolated lighter showers to follow. Sunday, she said, looks dry.
Sonoma County Water Agency spokeswoman Ann Dubay said the three to four inches expected by Wednesday is not enough to reach the region’s second lowest water year on record, in 1977. “We need five inches to get to just the last lowest year on record,” she said, adding this storm and the storm earlier in February are “helpful but not the solution” to overcoming the drought.
“Even if we get that amount, we are still looking at a dry year,” Dubay said. “We need a whole series of storms throughout March and April to get us in a better position.”
The last large storm, according to Dubay, only showed small improvements in the water levels at Lake Mendocino and Lake Sonoma reservoirs. At the much more critical Lake Mendocino, which serves areas like Healdsburg, Geyserville and parts of Mendocino County, the water level was up 6 percent.
At the much larger Lake Sonoma, which supplies water to the Sonoma Valley, there was only a 3 percent increase in the water level.
The water agency, she said, is still urging people to conserve water and follow the county’s voluntary 20-percent water reduction and local conservation efforts.
Because of the rain, the grinding and paving of the Leveroni-Broadway intersection has been moved to next week. According to Sonoma Department of Public Works Director and City Engineer Dan Takasugi, the work slated for Feb. 26, Feb. 27 and March 3 will be pushed until next week or until weather conditions improve.
Takasugi expects traffic delays while the contractor finishes grinding and paving the intersection.