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Impressive rain, snow totals to start a wet December with much more on the way

Sacramento Executive has received 2.33" of rain to start this month and much more rain and snow is expected in the next two weeks
Credit: ABC10kxtv
Sierra snow

SACRAMENTO, Calif — A very wet weekend drenched the valley and dropped a fresh blanket of Sierra snow across the mountains.

The past week saw two separate winter storms striking Northern California. The first system produced impressive rain and snow totals but was outperformed by the second system, especially in terms of valley rain. A nearly continuous stream of precipitation streamed into the region from the southwest on Saturday. 

A unique meteorological setup on Saturday produced interesting conditions. The high in Sacramento was only 45 degrees, yet snow levels were over 7,000 feet most of the day. A strong inversion formed as warm air funneled in from the south, trapping cold air in the valley while temperatures and snow levels rose in the Sierra. 

Many areas in the Sierra saw extended rainfall throughout Saturday. Snowfall totals were therefore a bit smaller than would be expected with a storm that dropped over 1.5 inches in the valley. 

The Central Sierra Snow Lab had periods of rain throughout Saturday, but still received a healthy amount of snow.

Boreal received 42 inches of fresh snow through 9 a.m. Monday and Kirkwood received 19 inches.

Limited shower activity will continue overnight in the valley, mainly south of Sacramento but the Sierra will likely pick up another few inches of snow as the storm system finally exits.

In total, Sacramento received 2.33 inches through the first five days of the month. The last three days in particular dumped 1.87 inches on Sacramento Executive Airport with the majority of that coming on Saturday.

Credit: ABC10

The storm systems helped bump some areas above-average to start this water year, including Sacramento which is now 0.27 inches above-normal. The Sierra snowpack is currently at around 150-220% of average for December 5.

The wet weather will take a break before returning overnight Thursday and into the weekend. The storm door is open and it appears that there is a strong signal that storms will continue to roll through the state in succession as a wet December marches on.


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