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Rainfall too little, too late
weather pic
School crossing guards at Hawkeye and Geer try to stay dry during a recent rain storm. - photo by CANDY PADILLA / The Journal

The recent rains that had area residents reaching for their umbrellas this past weekend may have given everything a good soaking, but did little to ease the area’s drought woes.

The Pacific storm brought in a total precipitation level of 3.76 inches into the Turlock Irrigation District’s watershed. The accumulated precipitation in TID’s watershed stands at 8.71 inches, which is 41 percent of average. Typically the total is around 20 inches for this time of year, according to TID.

“It rained considerably more up north, but it didn’t make much of a dent for us,” said TID spokesperson Calvin Curtin. “We are not much better than we were before.”

Don Pedro Reservoir is currently at 734.5 feet, which is 40 feet less than the level it was recorded at around this time last year, Curtin said. The reservoir is about 51 percent full, but not all that water is useable. TID’s Board of Directors is expected to make a decision on water allotments on Feb. 25.

The storm did help the snowpack in the Sierra Nevadas. The California Department of Water Resources reported the storms increased the central Sierra Nevada snowpack from 12 percent to 36 percent of average.  The northern Sierra Nevada snowpack is at 19 percent of average and the southern Sierra Nevada snowpack is at 26 percent of average, the CDWR reported.

The storm also ushered in the return of the Tule fog, which hasn’t had much of a presence in the area since November. The National Weather Service is expecting the area to see some patchy fog through the week. A new storm is expected to come in by Sunday, bringing with it a chance of showers.