Cloudy skies, rain and cooler temperatures are expected to dominate the first full week of spring in the foothills, following a stretch of dry weather that worsened drought conditions in the Sierra Nevada and Coastal mountains.
The National Weather Service issued a "special weather statement" Sunday afternoon predicting up to 2 inches of rain in the foothills and mountains from Tuesday through Thursday, with a chance of thunderstorms Wednesday.
This comes on the heels of a separate statement issued by the NWS late last week that said a 10-day dry spell had reversed earlier improvements made in February.
"We got 120 percent of normal precipitation in February, including the Sonora region," NWS meteorologist George Cline said. "That helped make the situation not quite as dire as before February, but things have trailed off."
After February, the Sierra and Coastal mountain regions went from "extreme" to "severe" drought conditions. But the updated U.S. Drought Monitor reverted the conditions back to "extreme" last week.
This week's forecast calls for a 30 percent chance of rain Tuesday afternoon, increasing to 70 percent by Wednesday. A slight chance of showers will remain in the area Thursday to Sunday.
Light winds from the south are also in the forecast through Tuesday evening.
For the complete story, see the March 24, 2014, edition of The Union Democrat.