Rain Finally Back in the Forecast for CaliforniaAt long last, two storms are on their way to the Golden State
As in this file photo, rain is forecast for drought-parched Southern California. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
The second half of the upcoming week will feature soaking rain and mountain snow returning to drought-stricken California.
Confidence is growing for California to receive a substantial amount of rain and mountain snow from two storm systems later next week.
The first system is scheduled to move through California Wednesday through Thursday with the second to follow for Friday through the first part of the next weekend.
The second is likely to be the stronger and wetter of the two systems, bringing a much-needed soaking to many communities (with the deserts being the exception).
If the first storm bypasses or only grazes Southern California, the second will not. It is possible that Downtown Los Angeles receives at least half of the rain that fell in all of 2013 (3.60 inches) from this one storm Friday through next weekend.
Several inches of rain could soak the northern California coast, while feet of snow may blanket the Sierra. Snow levels could drop low enough to whiten the mountains of Southern California.
More details and precise rain/mountain snowfall amounts will become clearer in the upcoming days.
The upcoming rain and mountain snow will definitely be welcome to a state where the percentage area of places enduring an extreme to exceptional drought was 68 percent on Feb. 18, the U.S. Drought Monitor stated in its latest report.
The number was nearly 61 percent the week prior.
California's Department of Water Resources states that the amount of water stored in the snowpack across the Sierra was only 25 percent of normal on Friday.
As this snow in the Sierra melts during the warmer months, the runoff helps fill reservoirs downstream.
While many residents are likely rejoicing at the news of the returning wet weather, some hazards will also accompany the storms.
Enough rain could fall to trigger flash flooding and mudslides in areas recently burned by wildfires.
At the rain's onset, roads will turn slick as the rain mixes with oil residue left behind by vehicles during the prolonged dry spell.
Motorists could face treacherous travel and chain restrictions in the mountains, including on I-80's Donner Summit. Flight delays may impact airline passengers.
The second storm could also trigger severe thunderstorms.
Before the rainy second half to next week, dry and mild conditions will prevail through Tuesday. Morning low clouds and fog, however, will limit the amount of warming along the coast.RELATED ON SKYE: Dramatic Photos Reveal California's Epic Drought