California drought: Finally, some rain for California

How will the drought be affected by the storms?

Rain is on the way to drought-stricken California.

The large, high-pressure system off the coast of California that’s been blocking any rain from moving through is finally breaking down. It started last week with some rain showers in Washington, Oregon and northern California.

Last week’s rain in the Pacific Northwest not only eased drought conditions, but it’s paving the way for two more waves of low pressure, which will bring much needed rain to the entire West Coast.

The first round of rain will move through central and southern California Wednesday into Wednesday night. This first round is smaller with some areas getting 1-2" of rain, and it won't be enough to put a dent in the longstanding drought.

The second system moving through on Friday and into Saturday is bigger and brings much more rainfall. Initial model runs are showing 1-2" for coastal and valley areas with double that in the foothills in the mountains.

Is that enough?
California has been experiencing extreme drought conditions for the last six months, and with each passing week, California gets drier and drier, worsening drought conditions. As of the most recent report issued by the US Drought Monitor, nearly 91 percent of California is experiencing a severe to exceptional drought.

That means it’s going to take a lot of rain to end this particular dry streak. The National Climactic Data Center estimates that it would take between 18” and 36” of rain to put an end to the most drought-stricken areas. While this week’s rain will help, it’s only going to be a drop in the bucket.

What about Arizona?

We've been dealing with our own dry spell, but are seeing solid chances for weekend rain in the Valley. Check out our full forecast:

Follow Scripps Digital Meteorologist Jason Meyers via the Storm Shield app on twitter, @StormShieldApp and Facebook. Download the Storm Shield Weather Radio App for your iPhone or Android device and get severe weather alerts wherever you are.

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