Drought Update and Rain Potential

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FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- We all know it hasn't been a great rain season for the Central Valley. Many Valley locations are running less than 50% of normal. Even more dismal is the Sierra Nevada snowpack which was further depleted by record-breaking warmth in March. The state's total snowpack is at less than 5% of average.

Below is the very latest information on California released by the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Next Chance For Rain

Rain chances are in the forecast beginning late on Sunday and again on Tuesday. The images below from the Climate Prediction Center show the probability of "above average" rainfall over the next couple of weeks. Unfortunately, while rain and snow are always welcome during this severe drought, these April showers will do little to improve drought conditions.

More specifically, I expect breezy conditions to begin Saturday evening as this low pressure system moves south and east. You can expect a cloudy and breezy start to your Easter Sunday, but the chance for rain doesn't look to arrive in the North Valley until the afternoon and evening hours. Snow showers will be possible above 4,000 ft.

That's just the first system! Plan for a few peeks of sunshine on Monday ahead of another system moving through on Tuesday. This is when we will see the best chance for Valley-wide rain. Showers are expected to finish up by Wednesday and the clouds will begin to clear.

As far as rain totals go, we could be looking at .10" to .75" in the Valley for the Sunday-Wednesday time frame. The Foothills will see higher totals, but, as of now, do not look to exceed one inch of rain. Up to one foot of snow is possible in the high Sierra.

The image below shows the GFS model's take on rain accumulations around the Valley from Sunday-Wednesday at 8:00 AM.

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