Times Standard (Eureka)
TEMPERATURES EXPECTED TO DROP
Sunday could hit freezing levels; drought conditions on rebound
A hard freeze was forecast for this weekend in Humboldt County, with temperatures hovering in the 30s and high 20s on Sunday evening through Monday morning.
A smattering of light showers totaling a tenth of an inch should also dust the county over the weekend, meaning the rain will not be significant, especially compared to the early January winter storms that put the county above the average total for the water year.
“It’s (rain) gonna pass really quickly. It doesn’t look like snow will be an issue. There will be some lower snow levels but very light accumulations,” Josh Wood, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Eureka, said.
The county is expected to warm up gradually into next week, with fewer days forecast to reach freezing temperatures both on the coast and inland.
Despite the slim rain forecast for the weekend, Humboldt County is now considered abnormally dry, finally shucking the moderate to severe drought it has experienced for at least a year. The average todate precipitation in the water year — which begins in October — is 21 inches, and the county is currently sitting at 22 inches.
Whether the drop in temperature combined with slight precipitation will impact county roads is uncertain.
“We’d have to see how much moisture is lingering from the previous rainfall. We have to watch for temperatures dropping really quickly,” Wood said. “If there is lingering moisture on the road, that’s what we’ll have to watch for, but I think there’s a slight precipitation aspect that we would want to watch.”
While residents should bring in their plants and monitor exposed plumbing during the temperature drops, Wood noted the primary concern in freezes is the county’s homeless population, as living unsheltered during such cold weather can be deadly.
Humboldt County’s neighbors fared differently regarding the storms kicking off the year. Del Norte County is not experiencing drought conditions, and 25 inches of rainfall were measured at Ukiah in Mendocino County, seven inches above normal.
More information about local drought and weather can be found at https://bit. ly/3kMNzuv and https:// www.weather.gov/eka/.