Merced air quality greatly improves, after much-needed rainfall arrives
Recent rain showers have left the Merced area with about a quarter inch of rain and improved the air quality since Wednesday, the National Weather Service reports.
Jim Bagnall, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Hanford, said the showers were a result of a typical winter weather systems from the northeast Pacific that has moved south through the area.
Forecasters predict the area could receive up to another quarter inch by the end of the coming Wednesday.
Bangall said the Merced area can expect to see temperatures staying in the low to mid 60s through Wednesday next week. Overnight lows are expected to hover around the low to mid 40s, he said.
Temperatures have been recorded to be about average for this time of the year. According to Bagnall, Thursday’s high was recorded at 65 degrees. But temperatures may drop slightly with the high expected to be in the mid to upper 50s by Thursday next week, he said.
The Merced area normally records about 10.7 inches of rain by this time in the calendar year and current rainfall measurements have recorded 6 inches of rain so far.
Bagnall said October is usually the start of the water year for this area. “We are going into a more normal pattern with systems expected to move through a little more regular,” said Bagnall.
Compared to November rainfall numbers last year, Bagnall said this November appears to be on track to be a wetter month.
The area is currently behind on rainfall totals for the month, but rainfall levels should reach normal or possibly be slightly above normal by the time the next rainstorms move through, he said.
Merced area residents can thank the latest weather systems for improving air quality, which was severely impacted following massive wildfires in Paradise and Malibu, Calif. According to Bagnall, Wednesday’s air quality was hovering around level four (level five is
considered the most hazardous level).
Since then, the air quality has dropped to a level one — putting Merced’s air in the “good” category.
Looking ahead to the next five days, Bagnall said the area could expect a 20 to 30 percent chance of rain and see about a tenth of an inch around Tuesday. Another system is expected to move through later next week that could drop up to half and inch of rain by Nov. 29.
That system may bring wind gusts between 15-20 mph, but they should not be strong enough to cause an advisory, according to Bagnall.
The recent weather systems are responsible for dropping about a foot of snow in the the Sierra Nevada at an elevation of 7,000 feet and above.
Bagnall cautioned motorists heading into the mountains that the use of chains will probably be required, and to be prepared for weather conditions. “It’s always a good idea if you are going into the mountains to have water, blankets and anything you might need,” said Bagnall.
The chance of fog is also something Bagnall cautions motorists to keep in mind. “When rain comes, overnight fog is a possibility. Be prepared for that,” he said.