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Rainy days ahead for Sacramento

Storms could produce one-two punch, up to 2.5 inches rain

downspout splash block with a little water
This downspout splash block got just a bit of water this morning but it's likely
to be flowing during the rainstorms starting Thursday. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)

Turn off the sprinklers! Our record dry spell is officially over – and the first big storm of our new water year is on its way.

Wednesday’s drizzly conditions are just a warm-up. According to the National Weather Service, Sacramento can expect a wet one-two punch, starting Thursday.

“Periods of heavy to moderate rain are possible late Thursday into Friday with our next storm system,” tweeted the NWS Sacramento office on Wednesday morning. “These (showers) could bring potential ash flows and debris flows to recent burn scars. They could also bring morning commute issues. The heaviest rain is expected north of I-80.”

Sacramento Valley is expected to get 0.5 to 1.5 inches in this first wave, says the weather service. Foothill areas could get 2 to 4 inches.

Expect “ponding of water on roadways and some minor flooding of poor drainage areas,” the weather service added.

Saturday may be showery, but mostly dry. Then comes another, colder storm on Sunday with rain expected through Tuesday. That storm is expected to drop at least an inch on Sacramento and snow in the mountain passes.

That adds up to 1.5 to 2.5 inches for Sacramento. If these storms deliver as expected, Sacramento’s October rain total will easily top its historical average of 0.95 inches.

These storms follow the longest rainless period in Downtown Sacramento history – 212 days. Before Sunday night’s light rainfall, the weather service’s Downtown Sacramento monitors had not recorded any measurable precipitation since March 19.



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Garden Checklist for week of July 14

Your garden needs you!

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to reduce the chance of fungal infection and to conserve moisture.

* Feed vegetable plants bone meal, rock phosphate or other fertilizers high in phosphate to stimulate more blooms and fruiting. (But wait until daily high temperatures drop out of the 100s.)

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week.

* Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more. Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* It's not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers.

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